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Archives for April 10, 2017

Step Inside Peter Marino’s Gorgeous Hamptons Garden

Architectural Digest: The gardens are incredibly extensive—pink, purple, yellow, rose garden, the orchards, the forest, the great lawn. Do you have a favorite spot—or even a few—and why?

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Cobland Plant Centre holds first garden designer open day to fulfil demand for mid-size shrubs

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Milky Way Garden designs to be shown to community

The second round of community consultations regarding the Milky Way Garden is quickly approaching.

Join the community in a fruitful discussion as Greenest City presents design options to the community for constructive feedback.

The design consultation will take place Wednesday, April 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Parkdale Library, 1303 Queen St W in the auditorium.

Registration and snacks will commence at 5:30 p.m.

The Milky Way garden is a 7,000-square-foot space in Parkdale, located just behind the library, that will soon be fully purchased by the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT)  to secure an urban agriculture space in the community.

To RSVP email or call Monique Kelemen at; (647) 438-0038.

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New Jersey Town Council Bans…Leaf Blowers. Really.

New Jersey has an undeserved reputation as a cesspool of urban decay, a politically corrupt, bureaucratic dystopian nightmare trapped in a forest of smelly Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian smokestacks and drowning under the weight of its political icons’ bad decisions. In many ways, it is seen as the ugly stepchild of the already ugly New York City — a place where many of New York’s worst political ideas migrate, take root, and spread like poisonous fungus throughout the land.

Sadly, the troubled town of Maplewood, located a few minutes south of Seton Hall University, seems to be doing all it can to reinforce this image.

Already reeling from the not-so pleasant reality that its school district had Fifth Grade students make mock slave auction posters and, later, students in the elementary school system engaged in and video-recorded a self-styled mock slave auction, the town overseers on April 7 unanimously passed an actual ban on commercial leaf blowers. Because, well, a town just can’t have enough controversy.

Jessica Mazzola notes for NJ. com that the ban will last from May 15 to Sept. 30 each year.

During the rest of the year, landscapers can’t use the machines on Sundays, and both residents and businesses can only use the blowers during certain hours the rest of the week (Mondays through Fridays the blowers can be used from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays, residents only can use them from 11 a.m. to 5p.m.).

Memorize that yet? Residents in town better do so, because fines will be incurred by anyone transgressing the great Oracles of Maplewood.

To be fair, leaf blowers certainly can stir up dust and allergens that cause people problems, and they are noisy. In fact, Ms. Mazzola notes:

The new rule, the town’s lawmakers said, is meant to decrease noise and environmental pollution in the community.

But there are many things in the daily lives of Maplewood residents that increase noise and pollution. For example, state Route 124 runs directly through the town, and Interstates 280 and 78 are located nearby. Since federal highway safety mucky-mucks note in official releases that highway noise is generally 30 to 35 dB(A) louder than what most humans like, one wonders why the town council is not banning highway travel to reduce noise and air pollution.

The obvious reply from the authoritarians is that, according to them, getting to work is requisite, while landscaping is not.

But what about the people doing the landscape work?

The controversial ban has elicited mixed reactions from residents, and outspoken opposition from companies that serve the area, and the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association trade group… “We are already planning to file an injunction” against the ordinance, Gail Woolcott, the association’s director of operations, told NJ Advance Media Thursday. “That will at least stall them from being able to enact the ordinance.”

Woolcott added that most of the landscapers already try to use their equipment at times that will not bother neighbors, and that during the summer, the blowers are used less often for handling leaves than they are to clear fertilizer (and, one would assume, soil and glass clippings, and bad political ideas) from driveways and paths.

The effect on their livelihoods will be dramatic, forcing them to use medieval technology — rakes, hoes and brooms – to do the work, increasing their work time four-fold, and decreasing the time left over to work elsewhere. This will increase prices not only for those in town, but for clients elsewhere, giving relative price advantages to those who do not do business in Maplewood while doing business outside of it.

Maplewood is an example of what economists and political philosophers call “Little Leviathan,” whereby the agency of the state, even in the tiny form of a town government, imposes its will on everyone, rather than allowing people to handle their own disputes when they arise. A proponent of the ban noted that a similar thing has been instituted in over 90 U.S. municipalities.

One can only hope that the trend does not carry any further on the wind.

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ABC Newspapers | 2017 Home Landscaping and Garden Fair

The University of Minnesota Extension Anoka County Master Gardener Program is sponsoring the 2017 Home Landscaping and Garden Fair 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at the Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd. NW, Andover. The public is invited to attend this informative horticulture event.

Alpine gardening enthusiast and Rhododendron hybridizer Betty Ann Addison from Gardens of Rice Creek will present “Beautiful Rock Gardens: Building and Planting” and “Rhododendrons for Minnesota.”

Other featured guest speakers include:

–Sam Bauer, Extension educator, will present information about how to have a beautiful, but low-maintenance lawn.

–Food safety educator from U of MN Extension Suzanne Driessen will present two classes, “Basics of Home Canning: Safety First” and “Preserving Food Safely: Exploring the Options.”

–Alex Eilts from the Upper Midwest Carnivorous Plant Society will talk about the relationship between insects and carnivorous plants.

–Extension master gardeners will present the remaining concurrent sessions that include, but are not limited to, flowering shrubs, woodland gardens, vegetable gardens, and wicking gardens.

Hands-on workshops include “Making a Buckthorn Walking Stick” and “Build a Table-top Hydroponics Garden.”

Registration for this event is required (space is limited). Early registration is $25 per person if postmarked by Friday, March 31. The price for late registration and walk-ins is $30 per person. Parking is free. Bag lunches will be available by reservation for an additional fee. A material fee will be added to the optional workshops. For more information, visit or call 763-755-1280.

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Salem Museum landscaping workday successfully beautifies entrance area

On April 1, the Salem Museum Landscaping Committee sponsored its early Spring Workday at the Salem Museum. Ten intrepid gardeners endured gale-force winds to work tirelessly to maintain the landscaping at the Museum. Thanks to Jane Brummer, Judy Goodwin, Bee Grundlehner, Nancy Hoback, Amy Lawrence, Cindy Miller, Anne Perrin, Mary Ann Taylor, Kirk Shortell and Marsha Shortell for spending their Saturday morning weeding, deadheading, raking, trimming, sweeping and planting new herbs at the entrance to the Museum. Fran Ferguson and Judy Garst provided refreshments for the work crew. Twenty-six bags of debris were collected, and the beds look beautiful.

The cost of maintaining the Salem Museum landscaping, including fertilizer, mulch and replacement plants, is covered solely by donations from the community. All work performed in the gardens is provided solely by volunteers from the Salem Museum membership, the Salem Garden Club and the community. The Salem Garden Club has adopted the Salem Museum Landscaping as its Civic Project and dedicates its meeting every May to working on improving the entrance gardens and Salem Garden Club ‘s Memorial Garden and Monarch Butterfly Waystation at the Museum.

If you would like to support this ongoing project, please send your tax-deductible donation, with “landscaping” noted on the memo line, to the Salem Museum  Historical Society at 801 East Main Street, Salem, VA  24153. To volunteer, call the Salem Museum at 389-6760.

Submitted by Marsha Shortell

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Historic Garden Week continues its 84th year in Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA –March 30, 2017 – The springtime tradition of Historic Garden Week continues its 84th year in Virginia with Albemarle Garden Club hosting the upcoming local tour featuring country estate homes and gardens with beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain views.  Five properties northwest of Charlottesville will be open to the public during this shuttle tour in addition to the bookend events at Morven Estate and the University of Virginia. 

The tour begins at Foxfield where visitors will park and find a vendor boutique, educational resources and materials and a variety of food trucks.  Shuttles will be provided to all properties:  the gardens of Southfield which frame the twenty-acre property; Choill Mhor, an English Country Manor home; Midway, a historic property dating to 1749; The Laing House, a Georgian-influenced “American Country Home;” and Fox Ridge Farm, an active equestrian farm with a renovated Neo-Georgian Manor home.  Each estate offers a different perspective of architectural and landscaping opportunities that exist in the natural beauty of the countryside. 

Following annual tradition, Morven will be open to visitors on Saturday, April 22 and on Monday, April 24 the University of Virginia will open the Pavilion Gardens, East Pavilion Homes IV and X, Carr’s Hill and Morea Garden and Arboretum.  The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library will host a special presentation, “Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda:  Beginning its Third Century” at 2:00 p.m.

The Charlottesville and Rivanna Garden Clubs join Albemarle in presenting this tour.  Proceeds from Historic Garden Week support the restoration and preservation of historic Virginia gardens and landscapes, a research fellowship program and other initiatives supporting the Garden Club of Virginia’s mission. 

Tickets are $50 per person; $45 advance purchase.  Visit for ticket and schedule information. 

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