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Archives for March 1, 2017

How to design a potager garden

If you like to grow squash, beans and tomatoes in a few neat rows in a plot tucked away in the corner of your backyard, you need to meet Jennifer Bartley. She can help you turn the pleasure of a simple home vegetable garden into sheer joy.

The way to do that is to transform your vegetable garden into a potager (pronounced po-toe-jay), said Bartley, a landscape architect in Grantville, Ohio. “A potager is the French word for kitchen garden. It literally means ‘for the soup pot.'”

The French potager, she said, is different from American suburban vegetable gardens in several ways. “The French mix up herbs, edible flowers, non-edible flowers, fruits and vegetables and grow them together in a beautiful way,” explained Bartey, author of “Designing the New Kitchen Garden: An American Potager Handbook” (Timber Press, 2006). With a potager, she emphasized, you plant and replant throughout the season. Whatever is fresh and can be gathered in the season, that’s what you are bringing into the house and cooking with. So … for the soup pot. “The other thing is that historically the potagers were right outside the chateau where you could view them or you could just walk outside and have everything close at hand.”

If it sounds like the French approach to vegetable gardening involves a philosophy about bringing beauty to a food garden rather than seeing that garden as serving only a utilitarian purpose, that’s because it does. Bartley calls it an attitude about gardening. “The beauty of the garden and having the garden closer to the house and more seasonal than we are used to makes the potager much more of a connection to the garden and the table than the typical vegetable garden,” Bartley enthused. The French, said Bartley, see a vegetable garden much as an artist views a canvas — a way to paint a landscape with the colors and textures of plants, whether you eat them or not.

That’s a lot different, she said, from the Midwest where she grew up outside of Columbus, Ohio. “Typically, when we would think of doing a kitchen garden or a vegetable garden, we would think of doing it in the fields around us.” In suburban America, she said, homeowners tend to go to the remotest parts of their yards to plant their vegetables. “We’re sort of like trying to hide the vegetable garden from view,” she said. “We plant things in rows, and we never go there. Then it becomes overgrown with weeds. That’s not exactly a garden!”

The principles of potager gardening:

When Bartley designs a potager, she follows a six basic guidelines:

1. Create some kind of enclosure. Bartley’s idea of an enclosure is a border that can range from natural plantings to hardscapes. As examples of a natural enclosure, she suggested shrubs such as currants or elderberries or raspberries. These serve a useful as well as a functional purpose because you can eat the fruit the plants produce. Even a boxwood by itself can create a bit of an enclosure, Bartley added. An enclosure could even be what Bartley calls “a borrowed enclosure,” which she said in urban areas could be existing walls or even other buildings.

2. Plant the potager close to the house. “Make it part of your garden and put it in where you can see it from the house and see things growing.” The idea, she said, is to “make the potager part of your everyday life where you are seeing it all of the time, walking by it and enjoying it.”

3. Make it beautiful. Grow different perennials and annuals among your herbs and vegetables. The flowers will attract beneficial insects to the vegetable plants. You can expand on this idea by planting shrubs and trees that are designed into the potager that will also help attract beneficial insects. As an example, she suggested a well-placed rose shrub that climbs a fence. A bonus to blooming plants is that you can bring cut flowers or flowering branches indoors and put them in vases.

A section of a potager garden with raised beds
Raised beds help to create a good soil for vegetables and make for natural pathways for the potager garden. (Photo: Jennifer R. Bartley)

4. Grow in raised beds. Many areas don’t have soil that is ideal for gardening, Bartley pointed out. Raised beds that extend just a foot or so off the ground can solve this problem, she said, especially if first you dig down a little bit to improve the drainage of the original soil. Then you can create a well-drained loamy soil that’s good for growing vegetables. The raised bed can be a simple mound or you could border the area with wood or stone. Keep the raised beds to a width of no more than four feet so that you can easily reach across them to plant and harvest. Raised beds have another advantage — they create natural pathways.

5. Pathways are important. Pathways will keep you from tramping down and compacting the soil where you are growing vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers. Make sure your pathways are wide enough to push a wheelbarrow along them (three feet is a good width, Bartley suggested). Also be sure to mulch pathways to keep them from becoming muddy after storms or from irrigating your garden.

6. Give your garden structure. Brantley points out that in her Zone 5 garden, it’s too cold to grow edibles or cut flowers during the winter. Because she wants her potager to look good during the cold gray months, she adds ornamental structures. These are easy to feature in any potager and can include hardscapes such as trellises, evergreens such as boxwoods and even the deciduous border.

An oasis by the back door

A backyard potager garden
Being able to look out your window and see the potager garden is one of this garden style’s many benefits. (Photo: Jennifer R. Bartley)

Bartley traces her interest in potagers to childhood memories of picking elderberries and raspberries in a ravine near her house. She said she got away from that connection to nature in moves around the country, but when she moved back to the Columbus area, she came home in more ways than one. Her interest in things that people could eat and things they could gather from the landscape were rekindled, and she decided to go back to school and study landscape architecture at Ohio State.

“I knew I wanted to study the walled garden,” she said. “I thought it would lead me to England, but it led me to France.” She was especially impressed with Villandry, one of the most famous French chateaus, and a potager that has been copied many times over. “I was greatly inspired by those gardens that I saw in France, and as part of my thesis I designed some potagers for some chefs here.”

In adapting the French approach to vegetable gardens, there’s one additional guideline American gardens should embrace, Bartley said, and it’s this: keep it simple. “The potager does not have to be this overwhelming thing. It can just be something that you have right outside the back door that’s source simple.”

After all, she pointed out, the potager should be an oasis, a healing place. “Some of the first potagers in France were in fact monastery gardens, places of respite and healing,” she said. “These gardens were like ‘the Garden of Eden’ and were a bit of paradise on Earth.”

Best of all, there could be one right outside your kitchen window.

All photos taken from “Designing the New Kitchen Garden” © Copyright 2006 by Jennifer R. Bartley. All rights reserved. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher.

herbs hang to dry

An fruit tree that has undergone espaliered

A gardening master at work

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Marion Garden Group to sponsor two gardening lectures planned for …

The Marion Garden Group is happy to announce it will be sponsoring two upcoming lecture programs of interest to area gardeners:


Tuesday, March 7, 9:00 am

“War of the Weeds” with Teri Dunn Chace

Tabor Academy Great Room

188 Front Street

Marion, MA

Best-selling author, Teri Dunn Chace will speak at the Tuesday, March 7 meeting of the Marion Garden Group. Her hour-long presentation is based on her book How to Eradicate Invasive Plants.  Ms. Chace defines “weeds,” and discusses the scope of the problem with certain invasives and what gardeners can realistically expect to achieve in their battle. She reviews a variety of ways to fight back, saving herbicides for last. “I highly recommend Teri Dunn Chace’s talk War of the Weeds. She introduces the audience to this important and somewhat daunting subject with clear solutions to manage problem plants and initiates a productive discussion concerning invasive plant issues.“ Karin Stanley, Education Outreach Coordinator, Polly Hill Arboretum


Tuesday, April 4  9:00 am

“Fine Art as Inspiration for Garden Design”

with Gordon Hayward, garden designer and author

Tabor Academy Great Room

188 Front Street

Marion, MA

This lively one hour lecture is based on Gordon Hayward’s most recent book ART AND THE GARDENER. It explores the visual language shared by painters and garden designers. By juxtaposing a painting and a garden image on the screen simultaneously, Hayward explores the many levels of similarity between how the painter and garden designer compose their images. Both use elements of composition to construct their images: visual itinerary, defining depth, creating foreground/background, light and shadow, focal points, pleasing contrast, framing, contrasting textures and forms, balance, the roles of line and color as well as positive and negative space. By examining works by such painters as Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, Thomas Cole, and Childe Hassam and many others in comparison with gardens from across America and England, Hayward provides audiences with new ways to look at gardens and art.


Hayward first gave this lecture for the Art in Bloom program at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1995 and has been presenting it in art museums, botanic gardens and garden clubs nationwide ever since. This lecture enables gardeners to take a fresh look at their gardens.

Gordon Hayward’s eleven books on garden design are a visual feast. A more inspiring writer and landscape designer is hard to find. He’s been writing for Horticulture magazine since 1978 having published over 70 articles. His work as a designer is renowned and he speaks to gardening groups around the world.  If you have not stumbled upon his beautiful publications or examples of his creative vision, just visit his website at and be prepared to swoon.

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My Cloud Forest offers innovative, easy-to-maintain garden designs for urban Indian homes.

Amit Nandi Fouzdar, founder of My Cloud Forest, shares his experience with Team YourStory on how he co-founded the company with Amit Keshri.

Amit Nandi says, “My ability to take people along with me, aligning them with my vision, helped a lot throughout my journey. I am lucky to have had a dynamic career till now. I have ten years of experience with an international oil and gas company. I was fortunate to live in 45 countries before I was even 30. In my travels, a constant observation was that the quality of living and homes was remarkably better abroad. Either homes are built along with nature, without disturbing the surroundings (as in Europe and small cities in America) or the major cities are very green and pollution-free (like Singapore and other major cities in Southeast Asia). On the other hand, in India, we have created concrete jungles, and have polluted and destroyed our natural surroundings. The present trend is that consumers in India have become exposed to the global lifestyle, and have embraced it. This is reflected when people spend huge amounts of money on making their homes beautiful and improving the quality of living. But there is no service available for creating greener homes or outdoor spaces.”

My Cloud Forest
Team My Cloud Forest

With this in mind, the duo started My Cloud Forest in September 2015.

The co-founders’ experience and expertise

Like Amit Nandi, Amit Keshri has 10 years of experience with an international oil and gas major, in technical and management roles. He has worked on major oil and gas projects in the US, Australia and Gabon. He has a strong experience in data analytics, project delivery and operations management. He was also the founder of a healthcare startup that unfortunately failed. He belongs to a traditional business family with strong roots in commerce. He handles operations, vendor alignment and customer relationship for My Cloud Forest.

Thirty one-year-old Amit Nandi has supported the delivery of major oil and gas projects across many geographical regions (the Middle East, Australia, Canada and Nigeria), managing a multicultural team of five or more people. He also has strong experience in team management, strategy implementation and project delivery. He has worked with people of 15 nationalities and has travelled or lived in 48 countries. Before the start of his professional journey, he had done his Masters in Applied Geosciences from IIT Dhanbad. He manages technology, business streamlining, innovation, marketing, and growth strategy for My Cloud Forest.

What does it do?

My Cloud Forest is an online shopping destination where one can design and create outdoor living and garden spaces for urban homes. Customers can browse and book balcony gardens online. They can create customised gardens for terraces, villa landscapes, vertical gardens or interiors. The company has the following offerings:

Balcony Garden- It addresses the standard apartment that has a small balcony.

Terrace Garden- For consumers with big apartments with large outdoor terrace space.

Landscape Garden- This addresses the consumers with private gardens in their homes.

Vertical Garden- It is a smart solution to create a green area in space-constrained homes.

Artificial Grass- It makes it easy to buy by providing home consultation and easy installation.

Maintenance- It provides maintenance services for the spaces it creates.

The market

Outdoor living and garden design is a $5 billion market in India, and is growing at a rate of 6 percent month-on-month. The market is still nascent in India, with no major established companies. In comparison, this market has seen significant growth in China in the last 20 years, with a rate of 10 percent MoM. The market there is valued at $30 billion. The market in the US, meanwhile, is quite saturated, with a size of $60 billion.

Amit Keshri says, “Between December 2015 to May of 2016, we had a general revenue of around Rs 1-2 lakh per month. From May to this past January, we started growing at a rate of 30 to 40 percent MoM. At present, we are running at a revenue run rate of Rs 20 lakh per month. On the whole, we have secured a total revenue of nearly Rs 1.5 crore till January 2017. Recently, we expanded our team – we are around 20-strong, with six ground staff. We plan to reach a revenue run rate of around Rs 80 lakh per month by July. Our company is profitable, and we are reinvesting our profits to expand.”

Monetisation modes

The company has six major lines of service from which it generates revenues:

Balcony Garden – Ticket size of Rs 15,000 to Rs 1 lakh
Terrace Garden – Ticket size of Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh
Landscape Garden – Ticket size of Rs 50,000 to Rs 20 lakh
Vertical Garden – Ticket size of Rs 15,000 to Rs 15 lakh
Artificial Grass – Ticket size of Rs 10,000 to Rs 5 lakh
Maintenance – Ticket size of Rs 3,000 per annum to Rs 1 lakh per annum. This is a recurring revenue, and it presently only provides this service for the projects it has implemented.

The company is bootstrapping as of now. It plans to raise a series A round in six to eight months to fuel their expansion targets in Bengaluru and other major Indian cities.

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Main Street improvement: State planners to float ideas Tuesday

Toned-down in deference to town aesthetic concerns, a concept for improving Main Street will be aired by state planners before village merchants and landlords — as well as town officials and the general public — next week.

The gathering is Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 5:30 in town hall. It is not a public hearing in the official sense, but rather a feedback session designed to get reactions to plans the state Department of Transportation (DOT) is still developing.

“A working group meeting to discuss various conceptual ideas that have been going on for the last several months,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said.

State planners presented a few different concepts to a meeting of about 30 Main Street “stakeholders” last summer, then went to work with a small committee chosen from the larger group — seeking an approach that could improve traffic flow, without diminishing the tree-lined charm that Ridgefielders cherish in their Main Street.

Outline and listen

Charles Robbins, chairman of the smaller committee that worked with the state planners, said engineers want to outline where their plans are now, and listen to reaction.

“The meeting is open to those approximately 30 people, and anyone else that wants to attend,” he said. “We look forward to community input.”

They will then go back to work, and try to come up with a plan that townspeople will like.

“Once that group agrees, which is a good cross-section of the community, that idea will be put into a plan that will be a presentation for a public hearing to the people of Ridgefield,” Marconi said.

Presentation parts

The state has been revising its plans in collaboration with the smaller committee.

Here are some of the major elements that are expected to be part of the presentations next Tuesday:

  • Turning lanes will be added on Main Street to allow the continued flow of through traffic while cars stack up and wait to turn onto side streets. By proposing narrower lanes than it initially did, the state won’t have to push back curbs — saving trees that in earlier versions might have had roots damaged by the curb relocation. Marconi described it as a “repave and restripe” project, rather than a widening of the road.

“The lanes will be somewhat narrower than originally proposed in order to be sensitive to the streetscape and town character,” Robbins said.

  • The intersection of Prospect Street and the CVS shopping center will be realigned to reduce the “offset” and facilitate the timing of traffic lights there with those at the Catoonah/Bailey and Governor Street intersections. “Prospect Street and Main Street are still proposed to be realigned to improve traffic flow,” Robbins said. “The exact design has yet to be approved.” Sean O’Kane, a local architect who serves on Robbins’ committee, expressed concerns about this realignment — though he noted that these are his personal thoughts, and not necessarily the view of the full committee.
  • Catoonah Street will no longer have turning lanes added, which will save landscaping on the corner near the Carnal Insurance building. “Catoonah will remain fundamentally the same as it is now,” Robbins said.
  • The “loading zone” in front of the Addessi block, just south of the Catoonah Street intersection, is regarded as a safety problem by state planners and they intend to eliminate it regardless of other potential changes to the plan. “This elimination will likely take place under any circumstance, as the loading zone creates a serious safety hazard for pedestrians and is not consistent with ensuring the safe passage of vehicle and pedestrians,” Robbins said.
  • The state’s plans reduced the number of parking spaces in front of the Addessi block, raising objections, and that concern remains unresolved. “There is no final decision yet on the reduction of parking spaces in front of the Addessi site,” Robbins said. “Further presentations and discussions will help finalize how many may have to be removed. The meeting of Feb. 28 will provide more clarity.”
  • The town clock near St. Stephen’s Church was to be relocated in some versions of the plan, but that idea has been dropped. “No relocation,” Robbins said.

The feedback session next Tuesday was “requested by the DOT, their meeting,” Marconi said, and reflects the state’s desire to come up with a plan that will be acceptable to the town.

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East Valley artisans show work at Home & Landscape Show

Two East Valley family businesses will be among the 100 craftspeople who are part of the first Artisan Home Décor Marketplace at the Maricopa County Home Landscape Show next weekend.

Heidi Martin of Queen Creek will show her work as part of her MyMacramania business, while Spencer and Haylie Nolen, owners of Domestic Accents in Mesa, will display their hanging shelves.

MyMacramania is a family business, with Martin assisted by her husband Nate and their eldest daughter, Hana.

Heidi Martin does the intricate macramé, or fabric knotting, and her husband does the woodworking, making dozens of arrows each month for one of her best-selling wall-hangings. Hana is next for the time-demanding finishing touches, and while her younger siblings, Piper, Zoey and Libby, look and learn.

In the 13th century, Arabian weavers introduced macramé by creating hand-knotted pieces for items as diverse as nets to protect their horses from flies and wall-hangings for their homes, explained Martin, a Michigan native who moved to Arizona last April from North Carolina.

“Sailors also used the technique for hammocks and nets, and resourceful hippies made fringed clothing and planters in the ’60s and ’70s,” said Martin, who practiced as an optometrist before devoting her career to the crafts business. “In the early ’80s, macramé seemed to fade back out of fashion until its recent resurgence in the revival of craft arts.”

Her most popular piece was inspired from pictures of three separate wall-hangings once sent by a customer who requested a custom item.

“Now, one and a half years later, I have re-created the piece over 300 times,” she said.

The Nolens’ Domestic Accents is a family collaboration as well.

A Mesa native, Haylie is an interior designer, and Spencer is a woodworker after his day job.

He learned his craft assisting a skilled finish carpenter when he was 19 to earn money for a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They met in Chicago while he was playing football at Saint Xavier University and married four months later. He received his MBA there, and she has attended the American Institute of Interior Design in Fountain Hills.

He has built a cherry-wood swinging bed and cutting boards for clients, and, for the family, white maple countertops and their son Nash’s birch trundle bed.

“I had no clue of his wood-working abilities when I married him, and he did not know of my interior design abilities,” she said. “Spencer is a perfectionist and has an engineering mind, so he helps my ideas in my head come to life.”

Together, they devised their popular swing shelves that incorporate a hanger.


Domestic Accents in Mesa

“I was looking for a swing shelf to buy, but I did not like the idea of having an exposed nail in my décor,” Haylie said. “So, I came up with these, and Spencer makes them, then I stain/paint and add the rope and hardware.”

The Home Landscape Show is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 5, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

More than 900 home improvement businesses as well as the 100 artisans are expected for the Southwest’s largest home show, which will offer home-improvement, handmade and landscaping products and services.

Do-it-yourself workshops, consultations and presentations are scheduled, and attendees will also be able to tour a tiny house, adopt a dog, attend an Arizona State Parks seminar and sample wines. TV’s “Chopped” judge Scott Conant will offer samples of Italian specialties, olive oils and vinegars.

General admission is $8 daily for adults and children 3−12, $3. Children 2 and younger are free. Information and admission discounts: 602-485-1691or

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Open house lays out ideas, support and questions for the city


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BATAVIA — Exploring an open house sharing the recommendations for Batavia’s upcoming comprehensive plan, Robin Ettinger was ready to be critical.

As she chatted with Rob Holzman, the senior project manager for the city’s new long-term planning document, at the end of a trail of displays inside City Hall Tuesday, Ettinger said she was impressed but hoped to see more done to cultivate businesses in the city’s empty storefronts.

“What I like is that they are embracing the whole picture — it’s not just the downtown business area or the northeast part of the town, Ettinger said. “They are taking the whole city into consideration. I work downtown and live in the city, and to see that the whole thing is being addressed is desirable.”

Holzman and members of the city’s comprehensive plan steering committee greeted a group of interested and opinionated residents that trickled into City Hall. The visitors never overwhelmed the group of consultants, city officials and members of the comprehensive plan steering committee, who weren’t disappointed by the resulting message.

“The comments have been mostly very helpful,” Bob Knipe, a steering committee member, said as the event drew to a close. Attendees marked ideas they liked with a green sticker and those they didn’t with a red one.

Few reached for the latter as they walked through more than a dozen poster boards detailing ideas including the proposal to extend Jackson Street north of Main Street as part of a greater City Centre redevelopment project, and ideas for making pedestrian road crossings more apparent and even artistic.

As the event was just getting underway, Holzman said positivity wasn’t all the committee wanted. The plan has been developed over the past year, and this step was the last before a full comprehensive plan is assembled for another round of public review.

“It’s important to have a critical perspective — if something is missing or people want to see something changed, they need to share it, because the next step is to go back and draft the actual plan, and that set the direction the city wants to pursue,” Holzman said.

Public input from an open house last autumn had already shaped the ideas presented Tuesday.

Ideas included anything from a mock zoning map establishing the city’s southside floodplain as a “restoration residential” neighborhood, to a planned development area near the armory. They also included explanations and concepts for landscaping, transportation and bus stops — areas where musicians could set up shop for outdoor performances

“(It’s about) how do we want Batavia to look, how do we want it to feel as a city,” Knipe said in describing the idea behind the plan.

That will touch on neighborhoods, recreation and downtown development, aimed at attracting Millennials and retaining current residents into their retirements.

Erin Pence has already made the decision to move into the city, in home looking out onto Centennial Park. Looking at the plans, Pence said she liked the vision they outlined.

“I’m surprised there was a whole board for walkable, bike-able (neighborhoods),” Pence said. “It’s not what I saw when I moved here a few years ago, but it’s a nice surprise, a welcome surprise.”

Another green sticker was added, and another vote for what Knipe says the steering committee keeps hearing.

“We’ve heard from people that they choose to live here, and while we have interesting demographic challenges, (they say) that basically the direction of the city is good,” Knipe said. “We’re going to see positive growth in Batavia, let’s plan that growth, lets make it positive, mindful, deliberate. And positive for everybody.”

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Flowers, seminars in full bloom at CT Flower & Garden Show in …

A garden display at last year’s show.

A garden display at last year’s show.
Photo courtesy of Connecticut Flower Garden Show

HARTFORD Normally we say that the colorful Connecticut Flower Garden Show is a welcome respite from the snow and winter cold outdoors in late February. There’s not as much a contrast this year, however, given this week’s mild temperatures, but the show is still a nice harbinger of spring.

The 36th annual show in Hartford, at the spacious Connecticut Convention Center (100 Columbus Blvd.), will resemble past ones from Thursday through Sunday — with an acre of real landscaped gardens greeting visitors (constructed in just hours) and the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s 2017 Advanced Standard Flower Show taking up another 12,000 square feet.

Throw in 300 booths of displays, activities and shopping that include artisans and handcrafted gifts, fresh flowers, plants, garden ornaments, metalwork sculptures, herbs, bulbs, seeds, fertilizers, soils, gardening books, patio furniture and more. You can bring a half-cup of soil to the UConn Co-op booth for free soil testing, too.

The theme this year is “Woodland Enchantment,” says Kristie Gonsalves, president of show presenter North East Expos, in a press release.

There are also more than 50 hours of education seminars and demonstrations by expert presenters included with admission (see for full schedule) including:

• A Collector’s Guide to Hostas — Jana Milbocker Joan Butler

• Color, Texture, Structure Morel Garden Design for 4 Season Interest — Donna Katsuranis

• Compost Soil Health — Katsuranis

• Designing Shady Retreats — Milbocker and Butler

• EcoBeneficial Gardening 101: Boosting the Ecosystem in Your Own Yard — Kim Eierman

• Herbs — Sal Gilbertie

• Ideas for Creating a Beautiful, Deer Resistant Garden — Jan Johnsen

• More Food From Small Gardens: Growing lots of Food from Early Spring to Late Fall in No Matter How Small Your Space — Nancy Dubrule-Clemente

• Rediscovering Summer Blooming Bulbs — Matt Mattus

• Saving Your Own Seeds — Christie Higginbottom

• Selecting Using Ornamental Grasses — Robert Herman

• The Year Round Cutting Garden — Carol King Platt

Hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cash-only admission is $18 adults; $16 seniors 62 and over on Thursday/Friday only; $4 children 5-12; free under 5. There’s also a mobile app for the event, free on the Apple App Store.

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Approaches to the Historic Landscape: A Conversation with Matthew Dore

Opening Reception Thursday March 2, 2017, 6-9pm,
On view March 2 – April 15, 2017
Exhibition Hours: Friday – Saturday 11am-4pm or by appointment
The gallery will be open 11am – 9pm on First Friday March 3 and April 7

Eleven Twenty Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by internationally recognized artist Dennis Maher. City House Models presents a selection of 2D and 3D wall hangings and sculptures that have been assembled from fragments of Maher’s ever-changing domestic space, The Fargo House — an experimental art and architectural oasis located on Buffalo’s west side.

The works on view at the gallery incorporate toys, models, architectural miniatures, drawings, hardware and other found objects. The resulting aggregates can be read simultaneously in many ways: as maps, vertical cities, ruinous landscapes, building plans or sections. Drawing upon and reinterpreting conventional architectural imagery, they playfully embrace relationships between objects and places, proposing a cosmology of imaginary environments that exist at the matrix of mind and matter.

Portion of proceeds will support renovation work at Assembly House, 150 Edward St. (former Immaculate Conception Church)
Assembly House is a non-profit experimental art/architecture space founded by Dennis Maher. The organization specializes in the design and display of imaginative environments, furnishings, and aesthetic objects, while hosting public exhibitions, educational programs, and events that enhance the sense of wonder within everyday surroundings. Assembly House is collaborating with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on the “Art as Social Enterprise” program SACRA, a training initiative that will teach carpentry, woodworking and design skills to Buffalo-area residents in need of employment.

Dennis Maher is an artist, architect, and educator. For the past 15 years, his projects have engaged processes of disassembly and reconstitution through drawing, photography, collage and constructions. In his ongoing Undone-Redone City project, Maher has continually reformulated the structural and substructural components of houses, conjuring an imaginary cosmology of assembled city fragments. In 2009, Maher established the Fargo House, a center for the urban imagination in Buffalo, NY and, in 2014, he founded Assembly House 150, a non-profit space for experimental art/architectural projects.

Recent major exhibitions:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, House of Collective Repair, January 26 – May 12, 2013 Buffalo, NY
Mattress Factory Art Museum, A Second Home, August 12, 2016 – August 12, 2019 Pittsburgh, PA

Other exhibitions by Maher have been presented at such venues as Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (Shenzhen, China), Black and White Gallery and Project Space (Brooklyn, NY), Pulse Miami Art Fair, Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT), Galeria Antoni Pinyol (Reus, Spain), Superfront LA, The Carnegie Center (Covington, KY) and Burchfield-Penney Art Center (Buffalo, NY). Maher’s work has been featured in NY Times, Architectural Review, ARCHDaily, Architect Magazine and on the national radio program Smart City Radio. Maher is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at SUNY, University at Buffalo, where he has taught since 2004. Artist website:

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Planning your landscape

Related Documents

Planning your landscape

Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 8:00 am

Planning your landscape

Gardening QA by Calvin Finch

Gonzales Inquirer


This time of the year it is common for us to think about improving our landscapes. It is also a time of the year for new home purchases. New home buyers may have a whole landscape to plan and complete.

There are several routes available to plan landscape improvements. One desirable option is to enlist the help of a professional landscape designer or landscape architect.  Find a professional designer on the web or in the yellow pages. Even if you decide to rely on a professional. It is a good idea to do some background research.

For background research or If you are into the do-it-yourself mode you can help prepare yourself by reviewing available literature and/or attend a landscape design class.

My favorite landscaping book is “Home Landscaping Texas” by Greg Grant and Roger Holmes. It divides the home landscape into manageable pieces and provides landscape ideas to address each piece. Find it at area nurseries, local bookstores and on Amazon. The book also does a good job in describing plant options. The photos are excellent.

If you want to attend a landscape design class, you are also in luck.

On Sunday, March 12, as part of the two-day South Texas Home, Garden, and Environmental Show, a landscape design class is being offered from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Floresville Community Center. Turn West on Hwy 93 off of Hwy 181 in Floresville.

The program offers lectures on landscape principles and plant materials with an emphasis on environmentally appropriate landscaping. Time is also provided at the end of the session for personal consultation on your preliminary plans, photos, and landscape ideas.

There is a $25 fee per individual for the program. A second person from the same household can attend the class for an additional $15.

Attendees receive the SAWS Landscape Care Guide, the Drip Line Gardening CD by Tom Harris and Ron Csehil, the City of Austin Plant List, and the Xeriscape Conversion Brochure.  

 The fees from the Landscape School will be used to support Classroom Gardens and Environmental Grants in addition to the creation of a South Texas Master Gardener Chapter in Wilson, Atascosa and Karnes Counties.  

RSVP for the class by obtaining and completing the simple application available on the Inquirer website at (search “Planning your landscape”). For more information on the South Texas Home, Garden, and Environmental Show or the Landscape Class call the Texas AM AgriLife Extension (Wilson County) office at 830-793-7357. You can also call Dr. Jerry Parsons or me at our Gardening South Texas Radio Show at 210 308 8867 on Saturday or Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. We will both be making presentations at the Landscape School and can answer your questions.  

Additional sponsors of the program are the San Antonio River Authority, The Floresville Chamber of Commerce, Wilson County News and the Master Gardener Chapters from Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, and Gonzales Counties. 

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017 8:00 am.

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Gardening workshop at Lakeland to help prepare home landscapers … – News

Recent warm weather and its welcome preview of spring got many of us thinking about our lawns and gardens — the year-round preoccupation for the Lake County Master Gardeners volunteers.

That group, part of the Painesville-based Ohio State University Extension service, presents “Grow It Yourself” for home gardeners in a day-long program March 11 at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland. It’s the 20th such program presented here.

They’ve gathered landscape and horticultural experts to present a series of 75-minute workshops for gardeners on topics that range from choosing small trees for home landscape to learning how to organically manage the insects with which we share the world.

Learn what to plant to attract birds to your garden from Cynthia Druckenbrod, horticulture director for the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Discover how to predict bloom time and insect activity from Denise Ellsworth, OSU Department of Entomology director. And learn about container gardening for small spaces from Noelle Clark Akin from Northeast Ohio’s Petitti Garden Centers.

Bill Hendrick from Klyn Nurseries will help you liven up shady areas with carefully selected perennials that will bring splashes of color to the home landscape, while Pamela J. Bennett, from OSU Extension in Clark County, will talk about new annuals that will give maximum color all season with no deadheading.

A dozen presenters will conduct 12 sessions on these topics and others, including gardening for those with creaky bones, starting and managing community gardens, easy ways to fix common lawn problems and ways the average person can help with the crisis faced by Monarch butterflies. Those who attend Eric Barrett’s “Vegetable Gardening Tips Tricks” may just harvest the best crops they’ve ever had.

Those who sign up will choose sessions in four timeframes, each separated by a break. First and second choices are requested, with choices assigned in the order registrations are received.

Lunch will be offered in the college’s Breakers Dining Room. A Vendor’s Row will be open during the 11:45 a.m. lunch hour, when participants can shop among garden-related booths staffed by those offering handcrafted herbs, oils, honey, lavender, candles and pottery creations.

The 8 a.m.-to-3:30 p.m. workshop costs $48 for those registering by March 6. After that, it will cost $55. Those fees include lunch and handouts. Registration is best by mail, and forms can be downloaded at Call the extension office at 440-350-2582 for details.

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