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Archives for April 8, 2017

Native Plants in the Garden:Design ideas

Design

Design

The variety of plant forms, textures and foliage colors adds interest to this front yard garden.



Posted: Saturday, April 8, 2017 6:00 am

Native Plants in the Garden:Design ideas

Peyton Ellas

Recorderonline.com

Last week we talked about some planning basics to help you create or renovate your garden. Designers balance a multitude of factors when deciding the form, layout and specific plants. Once you answer the purpose, informal versus formal and thematic style questions, here are the next design basics to consider.

One of the ways to create a pleasing garden is to keep things as simple as possible. I wrote about this last week, too, since most home gardeners get lost in the plant choices and tend to complicate their garden overmuch. I often feel that my job as a professional designer is to impose a ruthless simplicity on the landscape. Don’t worry at this early stage about specific plants. Think about form and shape, texture and the senses. You’ve already done some of this work deciding whether the garden (or specific garden room) will be formal or informal, and what the architectural or thematic style will be. Stick to that, or be very aware when you are veering from your stated choices. There are so many plants that will work in our gardens, it is best to come up with a set of criteria first, before we go shopping for plants.

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      Saturday, April 8, 2017 6:00 am.

      Article source: http://www.recorderonline.com/opinion/native-plants-in-the-garden-design-ideas/article_e33b4bd0-1c06-11e7-99a5-c7c19ea91109.html

      Homeowners want their landscapes to stand out on the block

      Homeowners want their landscapes to stand out on the block

      Homeowners want their landscapes to stand out on the block



      April 7, 2017

      Article source: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/home/design/article/Homeowners-want-their-landscapes-to-stand-out-on-11058641.php

      Smart Landscaping in Drought Conditions

      By John R. Conte

      Kim Conte along her front walk with her beloved chickens in an area that used to be a mowed lawn. Now it is a tall grass meadow that requires no irrigation. The chickens love it!

      Well, its spring and thank goodness it is finally raining. Isn’t the drought over yet? Not so fast… Despite the recent rainy weather and the late snowfall, we are still far behind normal rainfall levels. Conservation Director Denise Savageau, stated in the Selectmen’s letter of March 9th: “We have a deficit of over 14” of rainfall for the past 365 days and are entering the third year of a drought. We really need several months of above average precipitation to get us out drought conditions, refill our reservoirs and recharge the groundwater.” The town in cooperation with Aquarion, is going to be very cautious about easing up water restrictions, especially for landscape use. I’m afraid this is the new normal. Let’s face it, we have long known that conscientious use of water was always the right thing to do. It is no longer a resource we can take for granted.  And for those of us with a green thumb, this is really going to hit home.  We are going to have to take a very careful look at our landscape practices to find solutions that work.

      Well, what to do? We clearly cannot just shut off the water and watch our beloved plants shrivel up and die. Green spaces are important! They play an essential role in human health and wellbeing. They provide spaces for recreation, beauty and restfulness, not to mention the bounty of vegetables.  How do we continue to care for our cherished gardens while being smart and conservative?  The answer lies in thoughtful design and proper care practices.

      Yes, water is and always will be an essential part of plant care and landscape design. But let’s take look at a few ideas that can make all the difference. In a recent follow-up conversation with Denise, we discussed the importance of soil health as a major factor in helping plants cope with dryer conditions and fewer waterings. Plants that have rich loamy soil with a high percentage of organic matter and a deep friable structure will develop deeper roots. And deep roots are much better able to provide for themselves and their leafy counterparts. They are able to tolerate dryer conditions without irrigation.  Soils that are overly compacted cannot hold water and do not allow deep root penetration. Shallow roots have no tolerance for even the briefest dry periods and therefore demand constant watering. As a gardener, if you can promote good deep healthy soil conditions, you will naturally reduce a plant’s dependency on artificial watering.  This goes for all plants, lawns, shrubs and even trees.

      Another key to smart design is the use of the strategy “right plant – right place” which involves working with nature instead of creating landscapes that are out of sync with it.  The wrong plant in the wrong place can only survive with constant artificial life support.   Properly selected plants, growing in soils that are well suited for their particular needs will thrive with little care.

      Take a look at your landscape as a whole and see if you have the right plants in the right places. Are there hydrangeas that droop every hot summer day? Do you have large expanses of lawn where you might instead enjoy a meadow or a wild flower field? Tall grasses, wild flowers, meadows, shrub borders, all once established, require much less or even no artificial watering at all. These strategies provide shade for the soil, cooling it, reducing evaporation and promoting water conservation. Landscape designers today must plan with water in mind. As Denise says, “More gardens less lawn”.

      But if you are not able to pursue a new design and simply need ways to maintain your existing landscape without making major changes, keep in mind a few smart gardener’s tips. Slow drip irrigation is far more effective than overhead sprays that miss their targets and allow water to evaporate into the summer heat. Also, try less frequent, but slightly longer drip irrigation cycles to promote deeper soaking so the roots chase the water down into the soil making them stronger and more resilient. Watch for the signs of dryness and even overwatering. Yellow leaves are often a sign of too much water. A lawn that is suffering from drought will usually turn a grayish blue before browning out.  This often happens in localized spots created by micro-climates. Often these spots can be treated with a hand-held hose for just a few minutes to bring the area back to health. Always use a spray head so as not to waste water and never lay the hose down and just let it run. Plants can’t take up water that fast so most of it will just run off and go to waste. And work on your soil. Add compost tea and work organic matter in wherever possible. Organic soils hold moisture much more effectively. These are a few gardener’s tricks and tips. Please take heed and be smart. We don’t have to just sit by and watch our beautiful landscapes suffer. We must be smart and work with nature. The reward will be a thriving landscape that is much better to take care of itself and provide you with all of the associated benefits!

      John R. Conte is principal and owner of Conte Conte, LLC, Landscape Architects.  John and his wife Kimberly also own Fairfield House Garden Company, a local home improvement company. Both John and Kim are avid gardeners, active community volunteers and lifelong Greenwich Residents.

      Article source: https://www.greenwichsentinel.com/2017/04/08/smart-landscaping-in-drought-conditions/

      Consider investing some green in your landscaping to increase your home’s worth

      SIOUX CITY | If you want to turn your backyard into an oasis as seen on HGTV, be prepared to spend some money.

      Mike Lutt, owner of Country Nursery Inc. in Wayne, Nebraska, said that makeover could cost anywhere from $1,000 to more than $200,000 depending on your wants, needs and square footage. The average cost of an outdoor patio is $12,000 to 15,000.

      “People are going from wooden decks and synthetic Terex decking to a raised paver patio for the same cost,” said Lutt, who said multi-level raised paver patios allow homeowners to incorporate more elements and designs into their outdoor spaces. “It used to be just slapped up against the house. Now, they bring it out further.”

      Lutt said there are benefits to using VERSA-LOK retaining walls, made of high-strength, low-absorption concrete, and Willow Creek Paving Stones, composed of high-strength aggregates. He said these materials don’t have to be stained or sealed as wood does, and they don’t fade.

      He said homeowners also have more flexibility in creating the outdoor living area of their dreams. Those areas are equipped with outdoor kitchens, bars, grills and even wood fired pizza ovens. Lutt said he has even added a fire feature to a covered outdoor area.

      “We take their ideas and our ideas and try to put them together,” Lutt said of the design process.

      Steve Leininger, production manager at Lawn Pros in Sioux City, echoed the popularity of paver patios and fire pits. He said water features, such as rock fountains, are more trendy than ponds simply because they require less maintenance.

      “Using the water where it’s hidden instead of having an actual body of water — those have been pretty popular,” he said.

      Although landscaping is generally the last thing that’s addressed when it comes to the construction of a new home, Leininger said investing 5 percent of your home’s value in landscaping can yield a return on investment of as much as 150 percent.

      Retaining walls are must-haves for Sioux City’s sloped properties, but Leininger said many are failing around the city. He said any retaining wall over 4 feet tall requires geogrid, a type of netting that reinforces the soil and stabilizes the wall.

      Most retaining walls are made of concrete block, according to Leininger. He said he only does one or two jobs a year with railroad ties, which were popular in the past.

      Depending on conditions, railroad ties can last up to 30 years. If a concrete block retaining wall is installed correctly, Leininger said it could last more than 50 years. But just like anything, eventually he said it will break down.

      “If you go to Morningside where all the slopes are, some of those walls are really old and a lot of them are in good shape,” he said.

      When it comes to working with a landscaping company, especially when building a retaining wall, Leininger said it’s a good idea to ask a lot of questions and understand what you’re getting into. He said a retaining wall alone could cost as much as $5,000.

      Article source: http://www.cullmantimes.com/consider-investing-some-green-in-your-landscaping-to-increase-your/article_8ec4d916-13e0-5c4d-9ea5-3acaec538e3f.html

      Fill your garden, plate and glass with plants suited to your tastes


      Cindy Struys of Armstrong Garden Centers in Claremont constructed a miniature salsa garden in a wine barrel, filling it with Indian mint, Roma tomatoes, jalapenos and other tasty delights. Grouping plants together makes for easier harvesting as long as you don’t crowd. Many thrive next to each other. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)

      Cindy Struys of Armstrong Garden Centers in Claremont constructed a miniature salsa garden in a wine barrel, filling it with Indian mint, Roma tomatoes, jalapenos and other tasty delights. Grouping plants together makes for easier harvesting as long as you don’t crowd. Many thrive next to each other. (Photo by Suzanne Sproul)




















      LANDSCAPE WITH EDIBLES

      Grow LA Victory

      What: Garden class covering raised beds, container gardening and more with George Pessin, a master gardener instructor

      When: Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday

      Where: Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills

      Admission: $15, first of four classes (reservations required)

      Information: schoolgarden weekly.com

      Wild Edibles!

      What: Educational walk with author Mia Wasilevich, who will identify edible native plants, discuss their historical culinary use and explore how the plants have been adapted for the modern palate

      When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday

      Where: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles

      Admission: $20 members, $23 nonmembers

      Information: 213-760-3466, www.nhm.org/site/activities– programs/second-nature

      The Essential Edible Garden

      What: Kyra Saegusa, a longtime gardener and garden educator, explores the rewards of the ecosystem-based edible landscape during an introductory workshop.

      When: Noon to 1:30 p.m. April 29

      Where: Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia

      Admission: $25 members, $35 non-members (includes arboretum admission)

      Information: 626-821-4623, www.arboretum.org

      Gardens produce beautiful sweet-smelling flowers and provide refuge for insects and birds. And now they can make parties merrier.

      Move over home juices and smoothies and make room for mimosas and margaritas. Fresh salsa, anyone? How about homemade spaghetti sauce? Sprinkle pansy petals into your next salad? Sure! It’s a whole new take on the idea of a garden party.

      “For a salsa garden, plant tomatoes in the back, three peppers in the front and then herbs. Don’t forget onions and garlic. Cilantro, too,” said Laura Hermanson, a co-founder of Farmscape, which has offices in Los Angeles and Oakland. “Not only do homegrown fruits and vegetables taste better the quicker they come out of the ground, but if you’re able to pull, especially in the summer, a couple of dishes from your garden, you’ve reduced your carbon footprint.”

      Garden get-togethers and backyard bartending go hand-in-hand, making it a no-brainer for those who have a green thumb and a flair for hosting cocktail parties or any other party for that matter. But don’t limit your edible landscape only for cocktails. Plant and harvest plots set aside for dishes or ethnic foods you love. Get your children involved by planting carrots, radishes and other vegetables that grow quickly.

      Spring planting is in full swing. Invest in tomato bushes, berry plants, basil, peppermint, onions, cucumbers and herbs such as rosemary, oregano and pineapple sage. And then enjoy the bounty.

      Edible landscaping allows gardeners to enjoy the health benefits of harvesting and eating what they grow. And adding a theme makes the process more fun. Whether it’s a “salsa” or “Italian garden” of oregano, basil, thyme and tomatoes, or a “whatever-you-fancy” garden, know your ingredients, says Lucy Heyming, a Riverside County master gardener.

      “Edible landscaping certainly has a fun factor to it, and it also can add color and texture to your yard. Best of all, you can eat it,” she said with a chuckle.

      Plant your choices next to each other where you can to simplify the process. Also include structure and thought for maximum success and to cut down on waste. Use raised beds, both Hermanson and Heyming suggest, to consolidate space, make it easier to access and help control pests.

      “With two raised beds you can produce 100 pounds of produce if you actively plant and plan appropriately,” Hermanson said. “Plant with the seasons.”

      Dishes or cocktails made of fresh edible landscaping also provide fodder for great conversation. For example, one of Hermanson’s favorite drinks is a basil gimlet, a variation of the traditional one using vodka or gin with lime juice and simple syrup along with basil.

      Home gardeners aren’t the only ones creating their own edible plots.

      “Cocktail gardens have been around for some time, either in small-scale restaurants or in larger establishments,” David Saenz, a bartender at Vaca in Costa Mesa, said in an email. “There are many things to consider when implementing a fresh farm-to-table style program. Places that cater to larger volume have a more difficult time of keeping up with the demand of the business, especially when space becomes an issue. Garnishes, be it herbs or a citrus tree, are not as difficult to maintain, but when they become a larger portion of what is being served, they can become unrealistic and even detrimental.”

      Yet, the art of the cocktail shows no signs of fading with so many incredible takes and twists with infusions of fruits, vegetables and herbs.

      “I do not currently garden at home, but when I was younger we grew a vast variety of vegetables and herbs,” Saenz said. “For me, the fresher the better, so when the opportunity presents itself, I’m all about using my green thumb.”

      A friend once gave Saenz white nectarines from his garden. Saenz used them to make a drink referred to as a shrub, and substituted it in a Mezcal margarita of sorts. He called it “Short, Light, and Chingon,” and it became the best-selling cocktail that season.

      Another friend and a fellow bartender, Marinna Wilkinson of Fullerton, says that many restaurants have moved away from pre-made packaged mixes, opting for fresh ingredients where possible.

      “It makes a huge difference in the reception of our cocktails,” Wilkinson said. “Everyone wants skinny drinks that are a bit healthier with less sugar.”

      Fresh fruit and muddled berries in drinks are preferred, but men tend to choose the herb-infused drinks with basil, sage and thyme while women often opt for the sweeter ones.

      Wilkinson works at the King’s Fish House in Orange, a place that uses as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible, something customers desire.

      “Cocktails still are on equal footing with the craft beer explosion,” she said. “Many bars and restaurants have invested time and effort into the research and development of their cocktail programs because people, millennials especially, like innovative things that are new and slightly avant-garde.”

      Wilkinson has a small garden at home that she taps.

      “I think you should garden with a purpose and use what you grow,” she said.

      Of course, don’t forget the landscaping part of “edible landscaping.” Not only do many vegetables and herbs provide a continual source of fresh food, but many also dot gardens with lovely flowers and various colors of leaves and, along with edible flowers such as violets, bachelor buttons, borage and nasturtium, result in patches of beauty in the yard, according to garden experts.

      Recipe

      Short, Light, and Chingon

      Ingredients

      1/2 ounce Agave

      1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

      3/4 ounce White Nectarine Shrub

      2 oz. Xicaru Mezcal

      Expressed grapefruit oils

      Directions Combine ingredients, shake and serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass.

      Grow LA Victory

      What: Garden class covering raised beds, container gardening and more with George Pessin, a master gardener instructor

      When: Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday

      Where: Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills

      Admission: $15, first of four classes (reservations required)

      Information: schoolgardenweekly.com

      Wild Edibles!

      What: Educational walk with author Mia Wasilevich, who will identify edible native plants, discuss their historical culinary use and explore how the plants have been adapted for the modern palate

      When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday

      Where: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles

      Admission: $20 members, $23 nonmembers

      Information: 213-760-3466, www.nhm.org/site/activities-programs/second-nature

      The Essential Edible Garden

      What: Kyra Saegusa, a longtime gardener and garden educator, explores the rewards of the ecosystem-based edible landscape during an introductory workshop.

      When: Noon to 1:30 p.m. April 29

      Where: Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia

      Admission: $25 members, $35 non-members (includes arboretum admission)

      Information: 626-821-4623, www.arboretum.org

      Article source: http://www.dailynews.com/lifestyle/20170407/fill-your-garden-plate-and-glass-with-plants-suited-to-your-tastes

      Master Gardener: Designing a sustainable landscape

      By Kathy Eko

      WSU Master Gardener

      There are countless kinds of gardens.

      Some have colorful perennials and shrubs, while others have structural plantings that create shady hideaways. There are formal gardens with simple geometry, which can be soothing and seem to never go out of style. There are plantings tucked into a corner of your yard and set among attractive shrubs, vines and perennials.

      Don’t forget the informal garden, with a hodgepodge of flowers and grasses. There also are shade gardens, water-wise gardens and native gardens. All are wonderful spots that can give their owners much happiness.

      Landscape designs will change depending on how the property will be used. You are the only person who can decide. Merely planting trees and shrubs is not “landscaping.” Specifically designing a landscape will give you an opportunity to create habitats for people, plants and wildlife.

      Pacific Northwest gardeners are fortunate to be able to use a wide variety of plant materials to create landscapes that meet their needs.

      You’ll want to create a “sustainable landscape.” This requires minimal inputs of labor, water, fertilizers and pesticides to survive. A sustainable landscape works toward a balance between resources used and resources gained.

      When we moved into our current home, we had 2 acres of nothing but raw earth and blackberry vines. We had to decide what kind of a landscape we wanted immediately and in the future.

      The first thing we needed was a site analysis, or landscaping plan. This is a useful first step in designing a new landscape, or renovating an existing landscape. A site analysis will tell you what conditions you have to work with. A thorough understanding of your site is important. What kind of soil do you have — is it sandy, rocky, full of clay? Where does the sun shine at different times of day? This will determine what kind of plants you choose and where you decide to plant them.

      A sustainable landscape will allow native and other plants to prosper because they will be well suited to the existing light and soil conditions. A site analysis will help you to make the best use of available space in a sustainable manner.

      As you work on your plan, ask yourself: Where is the best place for a play area for the kids? Where is the best area for a vegetable garden? Where is the best place for an adult entertaining area or a quiet secluded area? How your landscape will be used should be a determining factor in its design.

      When planning my landscape, I tried to make sure there was year-round interest, especially for the area we could see from the house. For winter interest, we selected colorful shrubs and trees. Red-twig and yellow-twig dogwood shrubs are perfect. Another favorite for winter interest is witch hazel. In midwinter, they show us beautiful orange and yellow flowers. And, of course, we love forsythia with its bountiful small yellow flowers.

      As you can see, to achieve your desired landscape effect, well-chosen plants are important. There are thousands of plants to choose from depending on your preference; but remember, try to choose the right plant for the right place. Before selecting your plants, consider your site analysis and determine whether any environmental conditions exist that may cause problems.

      When completed, your landscape plan will ensure that all the work on the property will blend into the outcome. It may not happen in one season. In fact, landscaping is never “done.” There will always another tree, shrub or plant you can’t resist bringing home.

      Much of this information came from “Sustainable Gardening: The Oregon-Washington Master Gardener Handbook” and the “Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening.” But there are libraries full of books on landscaping, so I have barely touched the subject here.

      For more information, check out the Washington Native Plant Society website (www.wnps.org) and our local Master Gardener site (www.pnwmg.org).

      Kathy Eko, who lives south of Elma, has been a WSU Master Gardener since 2010.

      Upcoming Master Gardener Events

      The annual Grays Harbor Home and Garden Show returns the weekend of May 20-21. Exhibitors, now is the time to reserve your display booth. Contact Robin Valentine at robinval@hotmail.com for more information.

       

      For winter interest, the author selected colorful shrubs and trees for her yard, such as red-twig and yellow-twig dogwood shrubs, witch hazel and forsythia. (Photo by Kathy Eko)

      For winter interest, the author selected colorful shrubs and trees for her yard, such as red-twig and yellow-twig dogwood shrubs, witch hazel and forsythia. (Photo by Kathy Eko)

      Article source: http://www.thedailyworld.com/life/master-gardener-designing-a-sustainable-landscape/

      Upcoming Treasure Valley gardening events

      Wednesday, April 5

      Lawn and irrigation: 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd. With Dave Beck, who is responsible for the care and maintenance of more than 300 acres of turf in city parks. Free, but register at parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7700.

      Small Footprint Gardens: 6 p.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Get ideas for gardening or landscaping a small space. Free. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

      Saturday, April 8

      Welcome to Boise Gardening: 10 a.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Doreen will take you down the path of basic tips for successful planting and growing in our climate and soil. Free. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

      Kick off Your Outdoor Pantry: Cool Season Veggies: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Get your garden, tools, timing and tricks you need to start your spring veggie garden early and maximize your success with edibles. Free. RSVP to 995-2815 or email info@madelinegeorge.com.

      Raised Bed Gardening: 1 p.m. at Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Tamara Micone, U of I advanced master gardener, will discuss topics of soil choices, watering, planting for increased yield, and how to clean up at the end of season so the bed is prepped for the next growing season. $17 general, $12 IBG members. Register: 343-8649.

      Tuesday, April 11

      Get Outside: Landscaping with Native Plants: 7 to 8 p.m. at Boise Library Hillcrest branch, 5246 W. Overland Road. Get inspiration and tips for landscaping with native plants from Ann DeBolt, member of the Idaho Native Plant Society and botanist at the Idaho Botanical Garden. Free. 972-8340.

      Tuesdays, April 11-May 23

      Master Food Safety Advisor — Learn or Enhance Your Food Preservation Skills: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at University of Idaho, Ada County Extension, 5880 Glenwood St., Boise. Seven-week course includes course topics: Canning Acid Foods (Fruits and Tomatoes); Canning Low-Acid Foods (Meats and Vegetables); Jams, Jellies, and Preserves; Pickling; Dehydration; Food Safety; Freezing Methods. $140. Email ada@uidaho.edu or call 287-5900.

      Wednesday, April 12

      Landscape Design: 6 p.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Introduction to design of gardens and outdoor living spaces. Learn the basic principles of landscape design — form, function, flow, aesthetics — and apply those principles to the process of designing a new outdoor garden room. Free. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

      Roses and landscape: 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd. With Andrea Wurtz, master gardener and certified landscape technician. Free, but register at parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7700.

      Saturday, April 15

      Chip Carved Gourd Birdhouse Workshop: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Alan Sweeney and Duane Langworthy, Idaho Gourd Society, will help you create a unique, one-of-a-kind home for feathered friends. $40 general, $35 IBG members. Register: 343-8649.

      Spring Wall Basket: 10 a.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Bring your gloves and create a beautiful spring basket to hang on a wall, just in time for Easter. $30, includes all materials. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

      Building Bodacious Borders: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Techniques to design a layered flower bed with structure, color and year round interest. Free. RSVP to 995-2815 or email info@madelinegeorge.com.

      Thursday, April 20

      What’s Eating My Vegetable Garden: 6:30 p.m. at Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Class on sustainable pest management for vegetable gardens class from Sierra Laverty, IBG vegetable gardener. Learn how to: spot the difference between insect, viral, bacterial and fungal damage and diseases, identify common Treasure Valley pests, and create your sustainable management plan. $20 general, $15 IBG members. Register: 343-8649.

      Saturday, April 22

      Arbor Day Celebration in the Japanese Garden: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Four Rivers Cultural Center, 676 S.W. 5th Ave., Ontario, Ore. The garden committee will be presenting plans for growing the garden. Come and spend the day working on edging, weeding, planting new plants, setting drip sprinklers and more. (541) 889-8191.

      Tomatoes: 10 a.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Doreen will share her tips and secrets for healthy plants and bountiful harvests, favorite heirloom selections, good choices for preserving and, of course, the best types for making salsa. Free. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

      Earth Day Essentials: 11 a.m. at Madeline George Garden Design Nursery, 10550 W. Hill Road Parkway, Boise. Hey There Pollinator: How to Attract Native Pollinators; Get Xerius: Water and Firewise Gardens; Get the Mix Right: Soil Amendments; Planting Perfection: Best Practices. Free. RSVP to 995-2815 or email info@madelinegeorge.com.

      Wednesday, April 26

      Hypertufa Pot (Part 1 of 2): 6 p.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. In this two-part class, Rebecca Needles, of the Idaho Botanical Garden, will show how to create a Hypertufa pot. Part one of this class you will form your pot. Part two is a few weeks later, which allows your pot to cure. In part two, you get to put soil and plants in your creation. $40. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

      Saturday, April 29

      U of I Master Gardener Plant Sale: 9 a.m. to noon at the University of Idaho Ada County Extension Office, 5880 Glenwood St., Boise. 287-5900.

      Blueberries: 10 a.m. at FarWest Garden Center, 5728 W. State St., Boise. Dennis Fix, owner of FarWest, will teach how to grow blueberries in Idaho. Free. RSVP to 853-4000. farwestgardencenter.net.

      Idaho Native Plant Society sale: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MK Nature Center, 600 S. Walnut St., Boise. idahonativeplants.org/pahove.

      Raised Bed Gardening: 1 p.m. at Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Tamara Micone, U of I advanced master gardener, will discuss topics of soil choices, watering, planting for increased yield, and how to clean up at the end of season so the bed is prepped for the next growing season. $17 general, $12 IBG members. Register: 343-8649.

      Saturday, May 6

      Ada Gardeners Plant Sale: 8 a.m. to noon at 10080 W. Secreteriat St., Boise.

      Saturday-Sunday, May 6-7

      Treasure Valley Orchid Society Orchid Show and Sale: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Hilton Garden Inn, 7699 Spectrum St., Boise. Judged show and sale; workshops. $4 admission, free for children younger than 12. 939-1740, treasurevalleyorchidsociety.org.

      Thursday, May 11

      Idaho Botanical Garden Plant Sale for members: 4 to 7 p.m. at Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. idahobotanicalgarden.org.

      Friday, May 12

      National Public Gardens Day: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Any leftover plants from the members-only plant sale on Thursday, May 11, will be available. Free admission. idahobotanicalgarden.org.

      Saturday, June 17

      Idaho Rose Show: Noon to 5 p.m. in the Aspen Room, The Riverside Hotel, 2900 Chinden Blvd., Boise. Presented by Idaho Rose Society. Free. 440-7826.

      Article source: http://www.idahostatesman.com/living/home-garden/article143463489.html

      Almost spring musings

      Posted: Saturday, April 8, 2017 12:15 am

      Almost spring musings

      By Bob Beyfuss
      For Columbia-Greene Media

      thedailymail.net

      One of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel songs, from the album “Bookends,” has the following lyrics:

      April, come she will

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      Saturday, April 8, 2017 12:15 am.

      Article source: http://www.thedailymail.net/columnists/weekly_gardening_tips/article_49420fd2-1ba7-11e7-a4a5-47eb9888a4ea.html

      Sponsored: 5 safety tips for senior gardeners

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      Article source: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/lifestyle/2017/04/07/5-safety-tips-senior-gardeners/100039156/

      Water management expert has tips for sea-level gardeners

      A walk in my neighborhood always seems to yield something of interest: a blooming passion flower, a budding gardenia and sometimes, after a hard rain, a streetside frog pond.

      Recently, I noticed that a muddy, soupy front yard had been replaced with a small courtyard rimmed by attractive plants. But there’s more to it than meets the eye: Rather than channeling rainwater into the street, this courtyard is built in a way that lets water soak into the ground, thus doing its small part to help minimize flooding.

      “The patio is made of pavers, not a slab of cement, so rainwater can percolate downward into the soil through the joints between the pavers,” explained the landscaper Dan Johnson. “That’s because the pavers are set on a bed of gravel and sand and not on a bed of cement.”

      Johnson will be sharing his experiences helping homeowners deal with storm water at the New Orleans Botanical Spring Garden Show on Sunday, April 9, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Garden Study Center.

      His is one of four talks on tap Saturday and Sunday at the show. Talks are free with admission to the event, which offers dozens of vendors from Louisiana and beyond, all having plants and plant care products to sell and discuss.

      A native of Algiers, Johnson said Hurricane Katrina changed his outlook on his landscaping business.

      “It was after the storm, back when all the talks were going on with the Dutch about how to manage storm water so that it becomes a resource rather than a liability,” he said.

      “It dawned on me how important that approach is and that most traditional landscaping companies, including mine, were making the problem worse by always directing water out to the street so it could flow into storm drains.

      “Wouldn’t it be better to design landscapes that actually held on to the water and used it?”

      The name of Johnson’s company, GreenMan Dan, refers to a pre-Christian plant deity, often shown as the face of a man emerging from thick branches and leaves. 

      “In mythology, Green Man is the male counterpart to Mother Earth,” Johnson said. “That’s the whole idea behind my business.”

      Johnson’s new outlook led him to change the focus of his company to align with contemporary thinking about stormwater management, a philosophy that has been adopted by the city of New Orleans and by the Sewerage and Water Board. 

      The city zoning code now requires commercial developers to retain a certain percentage of stormwater on-site. “I thought most of my business would be from commercial developers,” Johnson said, “but it turns out many homeowners have drainage issues that they need my help with.” 

      Johnson and crew have utilized French drains — essentially a gravel-filled trench with a perforated pipe nestled in it — to keep water on a site longer while directing it away from the house. An ideal destination is a rain garden, which uses shallow depressions in the ground rooted with native plants to help retain water on-site and reduce the amount of water reaching storm drains.

      “The depth of a rain garden depends on how much space you have. If you have a lot of space, you can gradually slope down to a depth of 4 feet, like we did on a project we just finished for the Sewerage and Water Board on the West Bank. If a space is a lot smaller, the lowest point in the garden might only be a foot and a half deep,” Johnson said.

      “You can put plants like Louisiana irises in the deepest parts of the rain garden because they can tolerate wet conditions for a long time, but the higher up the slope you go, the more plants you can use.”

      New Orleans turns out to be the third soggiest city in the United States, behind Mobile, Alabama, (No. 1 with an average of 67 inches of rain per year) and Pensacola, Florida, (second place with 65 inches). The study, conducted by Weatherbill Inc., of San Francisco, verified that New Orleans gets an annual average of 64 inches of rain over 59 days per year.

      “Think about that statistic: All of the rain we get is shed over just 59 days, and the other 306 days out of the year are dry. It’s yet another reason to save rainwater. On one of our projects, we captured and diverted rainwater to an irrigation system, and now the homeowner can water his garden for 21 out of 30 days each month using the water we retained,” Johnson said. And rainwater is preferable to tap water for watering plants because it is free of chlorine.

      If that sounds appealing, Johnson promises to share more ideas about handling storm water at home when he speaks on Sunday.

      “What I really want to do is introduce this idea and to get people to start thinking differently. There is so much that a homeowner can do without spending a lot of money to make things better for their home and for the city.”

      *************************

      What: “GreenMan” Dan Johnson at the New Orleans Botanical Garden’s Spring Garden Show

      When: Sunday, April 9, noon to 1 p.m.

      Where: Garden Study Center at the New Orleans Botanical Garden

      Admission: By Garden Show entry ($8)

      Contact: neworleanscitypark.com 

      Article source: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/entertainment_life/home_garden/article_d763c358-1a14-11e7-b9e7-fb613ea51918.html