Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for April 20, 2017

Garden Club of Madison show to pay homage to ‘Rose City’

‘+

‘+__tnt.truncateStr(oAsset.title,85,’…’)+’

‘+

‘+

Article source: http://www.newjerseyhills.com/madison_eagle/news/garden-club-of-madison-show-to-pay-homage-to-rose/article_514cb925-0fcd-5a0a-a786-5c8ab3a7c8fe.html

Architects design Hanging Gardens of Birmingham

According to ancient texts the Hanging Gardens of Babylon boasted elaborate terraces, magnificent water features and floating plants. 

It looks like Birmingham could have its own mythical-like garden tower if new designs drawn up by a British architect firm materialise. 

The Garden Hill designs are composed of two 25-storey wooden residential towers. Architects say it offers residents an ‘oasis-like residence’ to get away from the concrete jungle.

Scroll down for video

The Garden Hill designs in Digbeth in Birmingham are composed of two 25-storey high wooden residential towers and architects say it offers residents an 'oasis-like residence'

The Garden Hill designs in Digbeth in Birmingham are composed of two 25-storey high wooden residential towers and architects say it offers residents an ‘oasis-like residence’

GARDEN HILL DESIGNS

The flats would also have unusual shared facilities including recording studios and spaces to rent for start-ups.

The total floor space would be 414,410 sq ft (38,500 sq m).

Designs also include between 120 to 200 car parking spaces as well as retail space on street level.

The towers would be very environmentally-friendly and both electricity and water would be supplied by solar panels.

Architects would also use passive ventilation and high quality insulation to reduce energy waste.  

London-based firm Architects of Invention drew up the designs for Digbeth in Birmingham which would house 500 residences and would be made entirely of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). 

The green designs include shared and private garden terraces at every level with a spacious roof garden to top it all off. 

The flats would also have unusual shared facilities including recording studios and spaces to rent for start-ups.

‘The shape of the building means that light is maximised – for the residents and for their neighbours’, lead architect Niko Japaridze told MailOnline.

‘It also means that the garden plants will thrive – so Garden Hill can be green year-round’, he said. 

The total floor space would be 414,410 sq ft (38,500 sq m). 

Designs also include between 120 to 200 car parking spaces as well as retail space on street level, according to New Atlas

The towers would be very environmentally-friendly and both electricity and water would be supplied by solar panels.

Architects would also use passive ventilation and high quality insulation to reduce energy waste.

London-based firm Architects of Invention drew up the designs which would house 500 residences and would be made entirely of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)

London-based firm Architects of Invention drew up the designs which would house 500 residences and would be made entirely of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)

Most of the terraces are exposed to sunlight throughout the day - morning sun for the southern tower and evening sun for the northern tower 

Most of the terraces are exposed to sunlight throughout the day – morning sun for the southern tower and evening sun for the northern tower 

‘Garden Hill acts like a wonder – a tall monument of green leafiness, rising from the city’s fabric’, said Mr Japaridze.

‘It is a significantly more environmentally friendly building material than steel or concrete, the most thermo-efficient also, and involves a very quick construction period’, he said. 

Sixty per cent of flats would be one bedroom units which would be between 40m² and 50m² (131 ft² to 164ft²) and 40 per cent would be two-bedroom flats between 63m² and 75m² (207ft² to 246ft²).

The towers would be very environmentally-friendly and both electricity and water would be supplied by solar panels. Architects would also use passive ventilation and high quality insulation to reduce energy waste

The towers would be very environmentally-friendly and both electricity and water would be supplied by solar panels. Architects would also use passive ventilation and high quality insulation to reduce energy waste

Although there are no immediate plans to build the design the proposed budget is £70 million (roughly US$90 million). 

The architects are backed by backed by a Chinese private equity fund called PGC -Capital. 

The firm already backed The Jewel Court, 77 one and two bedroom luxury apartment which are already on site in Birmingham. 

‘The dramatic 25-storey staggered towers, hung with gardens on every level, give all occupants and visitors access to private and shared terraces and a spacious rooftop garden’, the designers said in a release. 

Designs also include between 120 to 200 car parking spaces as well as retail space on street level

The total floor space would be 414,410 sq ft (38,500 sq m)

The flats would also have unusual shared facilities including recording studios and spaces to rent for start-ups. The architects are backed by backed by a Chinese private equity fund called PGC -Capital

Architects of Invention is a London-based practice with offices in Moscow, Tbilisi and Vilnius but has not yet had any of its designs built in the UK

Architects of Invention is a London-based practice with offices in Moscow, Tbilisi and Vilnius but has not yet had any of its designs built in the UK

‘The design concept is inspired by The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: an oasis-like residence for Birmingham’s growing, multicultural population’.  

Architects of Invention is a London-based practice with offices in Moscow, Tbilisi and Vilnius but has not yet had any of its designs built in the UK.

The practice is currently having pre-application discussions with Birmingham city council.

THE HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON: MYTH AND MYSTERY

For centuries, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were thought to have been built in the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon, because of the name.

This location led people to believe it was built by the Emperor Nebuchadnezzar who lived around 600 BC.

Since this time, archaeologists and historians have scoured the location of the ancient city but have been unable to find any physical evidence they existed – leading some to believe the gardens are a myth.

It is one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World and was called the Hanging Gardens because they were supposedly built high above the ground on split-level stone terraces.

Some texts referred to the plants in the gardens as ‘floating’ but they were believed, instead, to have hung from these different terraces, giving them the appearance of being suspended in mid-air.

A Greek historian named Diordorus Siculus described the gardens as being 400ft wide by 400ft long, with walls as high as 80ft.

Due to this height, water was said to have been transported from a lake at the bottom using a similar principle as Archimedes’ screw – a pump that scoops up water in a spiral tube and carries it to the top.

It was said to have been invented by Archimedes in the 3rd Century BC yet if a similar system was used in the gardens, this would predate it by around 350 years.

Given the size, historians have estimated the gardens would have used 8,200 gallons of water a day to water the plants.

Some historians and archaeologists believe that the gardens were destroyed by war and erosion, while others believe an earthquake destroyed them.

The roof gardens boast 360 degree views. The design concept is inspired by The Hanging Gardens of Babylon which were thought to have been built in the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon

The roof gardens boast 360 degree views. The design concept is inspired by The Hanging Gardens of Babylon which were thought to have been built in the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon

Although there are no immediate plans to build the design the proposed budget is £70 million (roughly US$90 million). The practice is currently having pre-application discussions with Birmingham city council

Although there are no immediate plans to build the design the proposed budget is £70 million (roughly US$90 million). The practice is currently having pre-application discussions with Birmingham city council

more videos

 

Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4425220/Architects-design-Hanging-Gardens-Birmingham.html

An architect couple designs a dream house

Marcie Meditch and her husband, John Murphey, loved their friendly, quiet Maryland neighborhood, but after two decades in an old house that was giving up the ghost, they had to make one of life’s harder decisions.

They could move away from the close-knit community in Chevy Chase where they had raised their two children, they could pour a lot of money into a rehab of their 1920s neo-Tudor house, or they could rip it down and start again.

A couple of factors weighed in favor of the last option. First, even if they could fix structural problems and deal with the underwater stream that caused basement flooding, they would still be living in a house that felt dark and gloomy. From a practical standpoint, “we would still have an old house with old wiring and old plumbing,” Meditch said.

Second — and here’s the fun part — they were both seasoned architects with a passion for contemporary, green design. They decided to start afresh, and the result is a house completed in 2012 that is a confection of rectilinear volumes clad in glass, wood, stucco and even tree bark. It is inexplicably imposing and modest at the same time. “I call it Warm Modern,” Meditch said.

The residence abides by modernist ideals of form following function, and it is infused, if you dig deeper, with Japanese and Latin American influences. Most of all, it’s a house that is organic within itself and in relation to its garden. Achieving that took another creative leap.

The couple turned to landscape architect Sandra Clinton, an old hand at transforming residential gardens in established D.C. neighborhoods. But the most enlightened aspect of her arrival was that it came at the very start of the project. Such early involvement of a landscape architect or garden designer is highly unusual, as odd as that may seem. Clinton can think of no more than 10 projects in a 33-year career where she has been in such initial collaboration with the architects.

“Often, we are handed the shell of a building and the design is really already worked out,” she said. Her firm, Clinton Associates, is based in Hyattsville. “All the elements of the house are there: the door locations, the pool area, where terracing might want to be,” she said. “In this case it was carte blanche.”

Clinton, for example, persuaded them to shift exits, adjust the placement of the main outdoor patio and enlarge the linear terrace facing the street.

The house and garden, thus, engage in an equal dialogue. The owners move seamlessly between indoor and outdoor rooms, grow vegetables on the roof, dine on the terrace and generally experience an alfresco life that traditional D.C. residential forms discourage.


A rooftop garden of terraces, deep planters and a vegetable plot creates a fourth living level. The couple was inspired by the rooftop lifestyle they discovered in Guatemala. (Michael Moran/OTTO)

Although the new house is about the size of the old, at 2,600 square feet, the living area is much larger because of the outdoor spaces and the interior connection to them.

The critical difference, Meditch said, is that the hulking cube of the old abode was replaced with an L-shaped house that is no more than one room wide. This configuration fills interior spaces with cross-flowing light and air along with the exterior views.

The house uses little energy from off-site: It has geothermal heating and cooling; a generous array of solar panels on the roof; thick, insulated walls; and several green roofs, including diminutive ones protecting the couple’s bicycle storage areas and one above the enclosure for the trash bins.

The attention to ventilation, ceiling fans and banks of automatic, weather-controlled blinds delay the need for summer air conditioning. The house’s gutters tie in to a 1,500-gallon cistern, and the rainwater is used to irrigate the garden.

In corners of the house where the owners wanted natural light but privacy, they placed translucent glass manufactured in Germany for industrial use. In other parts, they worked with Clinton to frame views of neighboring landscapes in a way that didn’t compromise privacy.


The master bedroom leads to a spacious balcony. The wall is clad in tulip poplar bark, a feature repeated on the outside of the house. (Michael Moran/OTTO)

The house has several green roofs, including diminutive ones protecting the couple’s bicycle storage areas and one above the enclosure for the trash bins. (Michael Moran/OTTO)

A recurring material, inside and out, is the bark of the tulip poplar tree, applied as great sheets. The bark pattern, of interlacing ridges, is the defining feature and experience of arrival, cladding the curved wall that leads to the entrance. The bark continues on interior walls. In the master bedroom, it sheathes a wall floor to ceiling. It must be like waking up in a treehouse.

Tulip poplar bark is a traditional shingle material in North Carolina, but milled into squares. Murphey and Meditch found a supplier that also sells this beautifully textured, warm-gray bark in sheets. The bark is flattened and kiln-dried, ready for mounting.

A front portion of the roof is pitched to hide the bank of solar panels, but the house is essentially flat-roofed.

This allows the creation of a fourth level of living: the rooftop, where a sitting terrace is bounded by a deep planter housing a specimen Japanese maple and perennial ground covers. Nearby is a sizable vegetable garden whose soil depth — 14 inches — is generous enough for carrots and other root veggies. (Many green roofs have a mere four inches of growing medium.) The aerial garden also features a structure containing a dumbwaiter. “The tomatoes go down,” said Murphey, “and the Manhattans come up.”

The idea of the roof as living space came from visits to Guatemala, but the same spirit of elevated perches is found on the lower levels, including a generous balcony terrace off the master bedroom.

The outdoor dining terrace fills much of the space between the wings of the house and is defined by vine-clad arbors built from salvaged classical columns. Once the vegetation grows seasonally, the structures enclose the space and screen the neighboring house. A row of Japanese cedars behind provides an additional veil.

A lower, naturalistic garden — defined by a semicircular path of flagstones and a grove of river birches — wraps around the back of the house, providing the rain garden, native ground covers and many of the perennials that Meditch saved from the old garden. Dozens of plants were lifted and held at a makeshift nursery at the nearby home they rented while the site was transformed.

The stucco walls in this area have been softened with a slowly spreading mantle of Boston ivy.

The new house also allowed Meditch and Murphey to set up their office at home. “It’s a great commute,” Meditch said. The fullest sense of the back garden is perhaps best experienced, ironically, within the sunken office, which offers a panoramic, eye-level view of the landscape. Deer, fox and other wildlife play outside, oblivious to their human audience.

The couple, who have had a joint practice — Meditch Murphey Architects — since 2003, met as architecture students at the University of Minnesota in the early 1980s. One of their earliest shared experiences was a study trip to China and Japan, where concepts of strong interior and exterior links offered an abiding lesson.

But a designer cannot address aesthetics without first attending to site problems.

Meditch and Murphey’s groundwater issue was resolved with a thick membrane below the house slab and perimeter drains. Other major storm-water issues — the lot receives surface water from higher properties on the street — are addressed with additional drains that feed sunken basins called dry wells. The lowest and wettest back corner of the garden was turned into a rain garden, excavated and then backfilled with gravel to a depth of up to 10 feet. It is designed to capture and slow water and irrigate the trees, shrubs and perennials Clinton chose for their ability to take periodic flooding.

This required collection and management of storm water is emblematic of how environmental imperatives drive sustainable garden design in our age. “Environmental quality and conservation of natural resources are now the premise of designing landscapes rather than just a consequence of it,” Clinton said.

The old house was a cube with dark interiors. The new one is L-shaped and just one room wide, to fill the interiors with light and air. (Michael Moran/OTTO)

All these lofty goals would mean little if the house were not working for the owners. It’s fair to say that it not only works, but performs.

The front terrace functions as an open porch. When the living room is opened to the terrace and the main dining terrace on the other side, the effect is of one seamless, breezy space.

Clinton designed the front garden to have a lawn panel but no fence or hedge along the sidewalk. Instead two beds extend from the house to the street, planted with birches on one side and a lower screen of kousa dogwoods and hydrangeas on the other. She calls them “embracing arms.” The house, in other words, is hugging the street.

“John and Marcie are very people-oriented. They love their neighbors; they didn’t want to reestablish themselves somewhere else. So when they took the house down and rebuilt, one of the things they wanted to maintain was the connection to the neighborhood,” Clinton said.

Typically, the owners will have friends and neighbors over to make pizza, harvesting herb toppings from the green roof garden next to the kitchen and cooking their meals in the pizza oven at the far end of the front terrace. To borrow from Le Corbusier: This machine isn’t just for living, it’s also for giving.

@adrian_higgins on Twitter

More from The Washington Post:

The dogwood tree — the living symbol of the American spring — makes a comeback

A dream kitchen fit for a family: Style, function and a 360-degree water view

You don’t need a large plot to grow a bounty of vegetables and herbs

If the garden is due for a rock revival, gravel would be the way to go

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/an-architect-couple-designs-a-dream-house/2017/04/18/52a71732-0380-11e7-b9fa-ed727b644a0b_story.html

Take a tour of Redlands’ ‘colorful palette’


The Buscaglia family incorporates succulents, DIY projects and upcycled decor pieces in its garden. The home is featured in the 2017 Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society’s home and garden tour.

The Buscaglia family incorporates succulents, DIY projects and upcycled decor pieces in its garden. The home is featured in the 2017 Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society’s home and garden tour.
PHOTO BY TABETHA WITTENMYER








REDLANDS The Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society’s annual garden tour and plant sale is special, organizers say, because it spotlights homes never shown before.

“The homes are all different styles as are the gardens,” said Frank Herendeen, the society’s vice president. “You could go to one house with a Japanese garden, then another with a cacti garden that is completely different. Most people who attend the event have gardens themselves and they get inspired from seeing other homeowners’ landscaping ideas.”

This year’s tour, “A Colorful Palette,” features six homes in Redlands, all open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The companion Uncommon Plant Sale is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

One of the more unique gardens on the tour belongs to Chris and Caitlyn Buscaglia. Their 1930s Tudor on South Michigan Street is home to the couple and their three sons, Max, 8; Sam, 7; and Enzo, 5.

According to Caitlyn, she was unsure what to expect when she received a letter that began, “To the Homeowner.” When she saw that it was from the Horticultural Society saying it was interested in featuring her garden on its annual tour, she was thrilled.

“They said they wanted to highlight yards that are child-friendly and since our yard highlights that with an area designated for our sons to mimic construction play with their Tonka trucks and an A-frame tree house that Chris built, they were interested in our house.”

Chris, who works at Esri, enjoys woodworking and renovation projects. In addition to renovating several interior elements of their home, he has built an outside deck and several planter boxes around the exterior.

Caitlyn, a stay-at-home mom, describes herself as a fan of do-it-yourself projects.

“I get a lot of design and repurposing ideas from my grandma, who did a lot of it throughout the years,” she said. “She looks at the newspaper to find old items. She saw a drinking fountain from an old school in San Diego and went and got it for me to use. We installed it in the backyard and it’s wonderful for the boys to use when they are outside playing and get thirsty.”

Caitlyn also says she is a succulent hoarder. The fun thing about succulents, she says, is that she doesn’t have to purchase them anymore. She simply takes cuttings and replants them to keep her garden flourishing.

“The garden is growing from itself and from me putting in the time and effort.”

The only labor the couple paid for is a concrete slab to be poured in the driveway.

“It’s very organic,” Caitlyn said. “We never sat down and made a plan, we just did it one piece at a time over the three years we have been here. On Friday nights we would talk about what we are going to do in the yard over the weekend, and it has progressed into something we hope others will enjoy, too.”

GARDEN TOUR

Garden tour participants are invited to bring cellphones or cameras to each garden to take photographs. Homeowners will welcome visitors 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets will be sold at each home on the self-guided tour. Cost is $15 per person; free for children under 13. Information: www.redlandsgardenclub.com.

1668 Fifth Ave.

Owner: Nancy and Chuck Alexander

Details: Single-story home surrounded by drought-tolerant features such as decomposed granite, Gorilla Grass and other waterwise plants. A fire pit, newly planted trees and entertaining space make the landscape unique.

332 S. Michigan St.

Owner: Chris and Caitlyn Buscaglia

Details: A 1930s Tudor home with a drought-tolerant yard incorporating succulents, rocks collected by the family on vacations, and DIY projects. There is also a working drinking fountain, handmade tree house and Tonka truck construction site.

649 Los Altos Drive

Owner: Nathan Gonzales and Todd Loza

Details: The 1964 home’s landscaping reflects the era of its construction, with clean lines and several plants from Asian and other faraway countries including agave, Spanish lavender and giant lily. The couple also installed a patio extension using exposed aggregate pavers, a bocce court and turf that does not require watering.

1032 E. Pennsylvania Ave.

Owner: Michelle Trubio

Details: Landscaping incorporates a free-form design that includes orchid trees, bougainvillea, Mexican heather and Arabian jasmine. Additional herbs, bulbs, vegetables and a plethora of unique trees separate Trubio’s garden from the rest.

1515 Powell Lane

Owner: Joe Vogt

Details: Home built in 1984 includes low-drought plantings, trees Vogt ordered from a catalog and unique Americana such as antique signs, plates and orange crates. A vegetable garden and animal topiaries add to the creativity of this memorable outdoor space.

1618 Crestview Road

Owner: Steve and Hito Vu

Details: A 1980s ranch home with a renovated front yard that features a Zen garden, fruit trees, pavers, a pool and avocado, lemon and orange trees.

RELATED EVENTS

Uncommon Plant Sale: Includes shrubs and trees. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Plant Propagation Yard near Carriage House at Prospect Park, 1352 Prospect Drive, Redlands.

Floral-inspired art show: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Redlands Art Association Gallery, 215 E. State St., Redlands.

Article source: http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/lifestyle/20170419/take-a-tour-of-redlands-colorful-palette

Pins on Pinterest: Embrace the pallet

‘+

‘+__tnt.truncateStr(oAsset.title,85,’…’)+’

‘+

‘+

Article source: http://www.heraldextra.com/momclick/home-and-garden/pins-on-pinterest-embrace-the-pallet/article_0c630360-5424-5417-9d51-9b1d24116cbd.html

Energy Adviser: Home, garden fair blooms with ideas

From plug-in cars to tiny homes, the Clark Public Utilities’ Home and Garden Idea Fair, April 28-30, will be budding with inspiration. Held at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, the free fair has been the local kickoff to the home improvement season for homeowners and gardeners for 26 years.

The annual event hosts hundreds of exhibitors with home- and garden-related products and services; the latest in energy-efficient home technology; full-scale landscape displays; one of the largest plant sales in the region; and many hands-on, kid-oriented activities.

“The spring fair dishes up fresh ideas for your home whether you’re looking for energy efficiency, planning home projects or just dreaming,” said Heather Allmain, Clark Public Utilities communication services manager. “Every year, we help our customers connect with area nurseries, builders, remodelers, and landscapers who can help them make home and garden dreams a reality.”

The 24-by-24-foot Innovation Home by New Tradition Homes is back and showcases the newest energy-saving technology, including a tablet controlling heating and lighting levels, as well as home security. This year it even provides an alternative automobile solution — the newest plug-in Kia Soul on display courtesy of Dick Hannah Dealerships.

In the Clark Public Utilities’ booth, energy counselors will provide energy-saving tips and answer questions about current utility programs and incentives. Anyone considering a smart thermostat must stop by and ask about their benefits, as well as the recently announced $50 rebate on qualifying Ecobee and Nest models.

“The Idea Fair inspires county residents to seek the services of local landscapers, builders, nurseries, farmers and other businesses, which strengthens our area’s economy,” said Allmain.

The Washington Association of Landscaping Professionals hosts the Landscape Showcase at one end of the hall, and the Building Industry Association and Think! Campaign sponsor the guest speakers stage nearby.

Across the midway, the Specialty Nursery Association of Clark County hosts one of the largest plant sales in Southwest Washington. Gardeners can chat with plant and landscaping pros, as well as listen to speakers on various home subjects from backyard bees and bats to home renovations throughout the weekend.

The Vancouver Clinic hosts the KidZone this year, providing three days of Mad Science as well as many other free hands-on crafts and projects. In the KidZone, visitors of all ages can learn about the power of electricity, how it works and how to stay safe around electric equipment.

The Home Garden Idea Fair attracts more than 20,000 attendees every year. This makes it among the most popular community events in the county. Admission is free but cash donations to Operation Warm Heart or canned food contributions for local food banks are encouraged. Also bring burned-out CFLs for safe recycling in exchange for two new LED bulbs per household. Canned food and CFLs can be deposited at any entry gate.

Save the $6 fairgrounds parking fee by catching the free shuttle from the 99th Street or Fisher’s Landing transit centers to the event venue at 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield. For the shuttle schedule and other fair details, visit www.homeandgardenideafair.com.

“As a public utility, this annual event has become a way for us to give back to our community,” said Allmain. “Hundreds of our employees volunteer their time to make this event happen and we all look forward to seeing our customers face to face each year and sharing updates on utility programs and services!”


Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send questions to ecod@clarkpud.com or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, P.O. Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.

Article source: http://www.columbian.com/news/2017/apr/20/energy-adviser-home-garden-fair-blooms-with-ideas/

County’s ‘Green Team’ Sets Demonstration Garden Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony For Wednesday, April 26

Green Team Demonstration Garden near the White Rock Visitor Center and Bandelier Shuttle stop. Courtesy/LAC

COUNTY News:

The Los Alamos County’s employee-based “Green Team” will officially dedicate its new Green Team Demonstration Garden Wednesday, April 26 near the White Rock Visitor Center and Bandelier Shuttle stop on N.M. 4.

The community is invited to join them at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by tours of the garden led by members of the Green Team. Tours will continue until 1 p.m. and include an overview of the plant and materials used. 

The Demonstration Garden project was an opportunity for the Green Team to implement sustainable landscaping practices by selecting native plant varieties that would require minimal water usage and minimal effort to maintain. The landscape design is primarily xeriscape with the largest percentage of landscape area finished with New Mexico Travertine Comanche gravel and speckled with high desert, drought-tolerant plant varieties such as Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Karl Foerester’), Butterfly Bushes (Buddlega Davidii), and White Pampas Grass (Cortaderia Selloana). The Green Team also utilized compost from the County’s composting operation, which is an excellent resource offering residents readily available landscaping material at the Eco Station. Compost is also an excellent soil amendment for flower gardens.

The Green Team is a County initiative created several years ago under the community goal of Environmental Stewardship: Enhance environmental quality and sustainability, balancing costs and benefits, including County services and utilities.

Interested employees are invited to join the Green Team, which is dedicated to creating positive environmental change within Los Alamos County. The Green Team promotes environmentally sustainable operating practices such as reducing waste, conserving energy and water, promoting sustainable purchasing practices, and encouraging the use of alternative transportation.

“Designing and building the Demonstration Garden was a team effort,” Green Team member Kirsten Bell said. “It would not have been possible without the help of many devoted Green Team members, as well as installation support from other County employees from various departments.”

Residents interested in learning more about the Green Team Demonstration Garden, or, having group tours of the garden to learn more about sustainable landscaping practices, are welcome to call Angelica Gurule at 505.662.8163 or contact her by email at angelica.gurule@lacnm.us.

For more information on the composting operations and availability of compost during the summer months, visit the Eco Station’s webpage below, or call 505.662.8163.

http://www.losalamosnm.us/cms/One.aspx?portalId=6435810pageId=6969051.

Article source: http://www.ladailypost.com/content/county%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98green-team%E2%80%99-sets-demonstration-garden-ribbon-cutting-ceremony-wednesday-april-26

Turning the Page on Native Plants

If you’ve been wanting to learn more about native plants, here are reviews of seven of my favorite books on the subject (all available in the Humboldt County Library).

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants (2009): If you only read one of the books in this column, choose this one by Douglas Tallamy. Unlike the others, this one doesn’t focus on descriptions of native plants, though it does contain some information about them. But it presents a powerful case for why using native plants is not just a nice idea but crucially important for the survival of wildlife. It explains how native plants and the insects that co-evolved with them are essential to birdlife in particular. This book opened my eyes to the urgency of this issue, and I highly recommend it to all gardeners and bird lovers.

California Native Plants for the Garden (2005): For brief overviews on the history of native plants in California horticulture, descriptions of native plant communities and a discussion of landscape design considerations, pick up this book by Carol Bornstein, David Fross and Bart O’Brien. There is a good chapter on soil preparation, sourcing plants and seeds, planting, watering, fertilizing, pruning and pest management. The bulk of the book is devoted to profiles of more than 500 native plants with a description of each plant, its habitat and range, light/soil/water requirements and related species.

California is a large state with an extremely wide range of habitats. Not every plant included would thrive in our area, but the majority would. Also included are extensive lists of plants for 30 specific situations, such as allergenic plants, plants with aromatic foliage, fast/slow-growing plants, poisonous plants and plants with ornamental fruits. The 450 color photographs include plant close-ups and many enticing pictures of landscaping with natives.

Encyclopedia of Northwest Native Plants for Gardens and Landscapes (2008): A comprehensive reference to 530 native plant species that occur in the Pacific Northwest written by Kathleen Robson, Alice Richter and Marianne Filbert. As with the book above, not all the plants described are native to our area, but the majority are. A detailed description of each plant is provided, along with useful information on cultivation, propagation, native habitat and range and related species. It also includes lists of recommended plants for specific situations such as drought-tolerance, shade, wildflower meadows, erosion control, and attracting birds and butterflies. Illustrated with 600 color photos and numerous botanical drawings.

California Native Gardening: A Month-by-Month Guide (2012): This book by Helen Popper provides detailed information on planting, propagating, dividing and maintaining plants on a month-by-month basis. For instance, April tasks are listed as: plant and sow; mulch; prune, just a little; take cuttings; manage weeds and celebrate Earth Day. One of the best sources I’ve encountered for pointing out the importance of maintenance for native plants and explaining how and when to do it. The final chapter discusses using natives in garden styles ranging from formal to cottage to Japanese to a children’s garden. There are beautiful color photographs and vivid descriptions of native plants in bloom every month.

Real Gardens Grow Natives: Design, Plant Enjoy a Healthy Northwest Garden (2014): This book by Eileen Stark presents a strong case for using native plants to support birds, bees, butterflies and other insects. It covers design considerations, site preparation and plant propagation. The heart of the book is a portfolio of 100 garden-worthy Pacific Northwest native plants — most of which grow locally — divided into plants for full sun, partial sun, and shade. Excellent color photographs and useful information on the growth habit and cultivation needs of each plant. I especially appreciate the notes on the wildlife value of each native. For instance, for vine maple the author comments: “Flowers attract bees and other insects. Host plant for western tiger swallowtail and mourning cloak butterfly larvae. Seeds are eaten by many birds, including grosbeaks, finches, and woodpeckers, as well as mammals such as chipmunks.”

Designing California Native Gardens: The Plant Community Approach to Artful, Ecological Gardens (2007): This book is divided into 12 chapters, each focusing on a group of plants that occur together in the wild. Authors Glenn Keator and Alrie Middlebrook provide examples of landscape designs for each plant community, including plant lists, descriptions and practical advice on maintenance. It’s an inspiring book with good photographs of both gardens and individual plants. As an added bonus, it includes information on where you can see each plant community in the wild.

Native Plants in the Coastal Garden: A guide for Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest (2003): Though the book by April Pettinger and Brenda Costanzo defines its range as extending from southeastern Alaska to Eugene, Oregon, it is very much applicable to our region. It starts with a discussion of recent trends in naturalistic landscaping and offers sample site plans to show how native plants can be incorporated in landscapes. The authors discuss pros and cons of lawn as well as turf grass alternatives. They offer advice on gardening for wildlife, how to establish and maintain a meadow and how to use natives in a variety of settings, providing a list of plants for each setting. Roughly one-third of the book is devoted to descriptions of various native plant communities — shoreline, forest, wetland, grassland and mountain.

These books contain lists of native plant nurseries and other native plant resources. Another good source of information is www.northcoastcnps.org, the website for the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society. This website has an expanded list of books on native plant gardening as well as recommended garden-worthy local natives.

Heads Up: Be sure to mark your calendar for the annual Wildflower Show and Native Plant Sale, May 5-7, at the Jefferson Community Center in Eureka. The website above has more information.

Donna Wildearth is the owner of Garden Visions Landscape Design in Eureka. Visit her website at www.gardenvisions.biz.

Article source: http://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/turning-the-page-on-native-plants/Content?oid=4892640

Gardening, landscaping literature available at library

With the temperatures moving already toward summer levels, many people are thinking about their gardens. The library has shelves of books on gardening and landscaping that may be just the thing to provide readers with some inspiration and down-to-earth advice.

“Seed to Seed” by Suzanne Ashworth is a complete seed-saving guide that describes specific techniques for saving seeds for 160 different vegetables. She includes all the basic information an enthusiast would want from botanical classifications to the proper methods to grow, harvest, dry, clean and store the seeds.

This second edition of the book also includes additional information on how to start each vegetable from seed. This guide is widely acknowledged as the best book available for beginners or experienced gardeners to learn the most effective ways of producing, storing and using seeds.

Sarah Raven’s “The Cutting Garden” is a big, colorful book for flower lovers; it has also won the “Best Specialist Gardening Book” by the Garden Media Guild. It is for anyone who wants to grow flowers in their gardens so that they can fill their houses with their beauty.

Raven shows how a garden of any size can have an area devoted to flowers. Using detailed planting plans and color photographs, she explains how to plan, plant and maintain a garden that will provide material for beautiful and original flower arrangements.

The book also contains sections on flower arranging that range from simple posies to rich table displays for fancy occasions. All are accompanied by clear and simple step-by-step photographs. Also included is a fully illustrated flower arranger’s catalog of more than 500 plants with details on what varieties to choose, cultivate, cut and condition.

“The Cutting Garden” is a comprehensive handbook for gardeners who want to create from the variety of their garden.

“The Suburban Micro-Garden” by Amy Stross is designed for those who want to turn their yards into more than just green grass. It offers loads of advice on just how to use the land that you have to provide you with a rich micro-farm. And the author emphasizes that you can get abundant yields from your yard in only 15 minutes a day.

She’ll show you how to stop letting your garden overwhelm you, how to develop and nurture healthy soil and create healthy food for your own table. “The Suburban Micro-Garden” taps into the tremendous potential of suburban yards.

Please take advantage of the depth of gardening advice your library has on its shelves.

Article source: https://www.theet.com/gardening-landscaping-literature-available-at-library/article_f31c27fb-cdb1-508d-8696-2726b04d756e.html

Tips to ensure your pruning job has a rosy outcome

It’s spring and that means it’s time to prune your roses. Some people say the best time to prune is when the forsythia blooms, but you can really prune anytime in March or April. Pruning properly takes some practice. So, you may ask, why do we do it?

First, when we make a cut on a rose cane, we are waking up the rose and telling it it’s time to grow. We also prune because we can shape the bush the way we want it, in terms of both height and width. If we did not prune for several years, our roses would be gangly, cluttered and not have very many blooms. Pruning is not easy; it takes experience to be good at it. Some say pruning is an art, some say it is a scientific process. Whatever it is, it is a job that should not be put off.

Here are a few tips to make the job of pruning easier. First, cut out dead wood. Next separate canes that are rubbing against one another. This prevents disease. Next prune all large canes, leaving only three or four and taking the rest out.

Now is the time to decide what size you want your rose bush to be. If your goal is to enter rose shows, cut the canes down to 12 inches. This will make the bush produce fewer roses, but extra-large ones. For garden roses, you can prune the bush higher, 2 to 3 feet from the ground, and this will produce many smaller roses.

Last but not least, make the cut above an outward facing bud, so that the rose will open up and grow with a good shape.

When learning to prune, many are afraid to make a mistake. Just remember it doesn’t have

to be perfect. Rest assured, you will make mistakes at first. However, it doesn’t matter as roses are very tough. They have lasted a long time, thousands of years to be exact. Each rose will thank you for the job you did. They can breathe more easily and feel free to reach for the sun.

Enjoying our content? Become a Burlington County Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

Article source: http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/life-style/gardening/tips-to-ensure-your-pruning-job-has-a-rosy-outcome/article_2ec43e64-1fa3-11e7-b939-f31d5438ec20.html