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Archives for April 27, 2017

Work begins on V&A community garden in Dundee

Construction work has started on a major community garden design project to transform part of Dundee’s waterfront.

Over the past year, people living with – and recovering from – a range of health issues have helped design the VA Dundee Community Garden, which has received a share of the  £825,000 funding  the People’s Postcode Lottery has contributed to the VA.

Working with professional designers, 20 members of the public have produced plans for a garden that will act as an extension to the VA.

Over the coming months, the 10 metre square plot within Slessor Gardens will be totally transformed.

Clara Govier, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have awarded £825,000 to VA Dundee to engage communities across Scotland with design work since 2014.

“We are delighted that as a result of funding from players that this community garden project has been developed, creating a space that can be enjoyed by everyone.”

As part of the co-design process, community participants visited allotments, took a trip to Dundee Botanic Gardens and sketched designs in two and three dimensions.

The workshops, developed and delivered by design studio kennedytwaddle and design engagement specialist Linsey McIntosh, helped those taking part learn about different plants and understand how gardens can encourage people to relax and socialise.

Careys, the subcontractor delivering VA Dundee’s highly complex curved concrete walls, is carrying out the construction work.

At the centre of the garden will be a sunken area, surrounded by a green “living wall” to provide shelter.

Rainwater will be collected by an overhead feature inspired by ferns and at the garden entrance and exit will stand large light features, designed to add an element of fun.

Patrick Duffy, Careys’ project manager at VA Dundee, said: “In conjunction with our ongoing works at the VA Dundee, we are delighted to give back something to the local area that can be used by all the community to improve health and wellbeing.”

The next stage of the project will see the co-design team and local volunteers fill the garden with a wide range of plants, chosen for their tactile qualities and smell as well as for their visual impact.

Peter Nurick, VA Dundee’s communities producer, said: “Co-design is all about getting communities involved in every stage of the design process. It is really exciting now to have the building work start on the design that came from the people of Dundee.

“As well as creating a public garden the project is all about bringing people together, sharing ideas, speaking up and feeling valued. Everyone can become a designer and the process is a fun activity that can benefit people’s mental health.”

VA Dundee will be Scotland’s first design museum, showcasing the country’s rich design heritage and bringing VA exhibitions to Scotland. The new museum opens in 2018.

Anyone interested in more information about the project can contact Peter on or 01382 308486.

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Art of Gardening Tour at Moore Farms Botanical Garden | Gallery …

Robert Davidson, a horticulturist at Moore Farms Botanical Garden, leads Visitors on the ArtFields “Art of Gardening” walking tour. The tour emphasized garden design, sculptures and creative elements of gardening on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. The tour will continue to be held everyday during ArtFields, with one tour at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m.

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Master Gardeners to Teach Latest Garden Design Theories

Spring Garden School
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10:00 AM – 2:45 PM
Master Gardeners to Teach Latest Garden Design Theories

Mahopac Library
668 Route Six
Mahopac, NY 10541

Local property owners are invited to attend Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Spring Garden School on April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the Mahopac Public Library. Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and Master Gardeners will teach how to evaluate your property with a critical eye so you can make planting decisions that are site-appropriate and eco-friendly, incorporating current research. Tuition is $25 and includes materials.

Attendees will learn about Hugelkultur soil management, plant communities, and matrix planting. The emphasis will be on using native plants that are beautiful as well as attractive to pollinators and beneficial insects. The day will also include sessions on how to manage the soil and water on your property for maximum benefit to you and our ecosystem.


Learn More

Cornell Cooperative Extension Putnam County

Katherine Everitt
Community Educator, Environmental Horticulture Natural Resources
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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EMWD Announces Water Conservation Festival

From Eastern Municipal Water District: Local water agencies would like to invite area residents to attend a free Community Water Conservation Festival on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Murrieta Community Center.

The family friendly event will take place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the community center, located at 41810 Juniper Street, Murrieta. Eastern Municipal Water District’s water-saving mascot, Dewie the Dragon, will make an appearance and a children’s theater show will begin at 1 p.m.

The Partners in Water Conservation, a coalition of water agencies in western Riverside County, will provide information about retrofitting outdoor irrigation equipment, Water Saving Garden Friendly plants and water-wise landscaping ideas. There will also be master gardeners on location to answer questions.

Vendors will be available to provide demonstrations and information about water-efficient technologies such as weather-based irrigation controllers, moisture sensors, and drip irrigation systems.

Each participating water district will have information regarding their respective rebate programs available.

“While California’s drought may be over, our mission is to provide residents the tools necessary to become water efficient for the long-term,” said Stacy Rodriguez, Eastern Municipal Water District’s Conservation Program Manager and Committee Chair for the event. “We hope that everyone can join us for this interactive and free event and make water use efficiency a way of life within their homes and businesses.”

Participants may take part in raffles throughout the event. The first 100 guests will receive a special gift. Families are encouraged to bring their children to the festival; face-painting, water-wise activities and crafts will be available.

For more information about the event, please contact EMWD’s Conservation Department at 951-928-3777, ext. 3322.

Partners in Water Conservation:

  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • CA Dept. of Water Resources
  • Eastern Municipal WD
  • The Metropolitan Water District
  • Of Southern California
  • Rancho California WD
  • Western Municipal WD
  • Southern California Edison

Image via Shutterstock

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Spring into landscape

The whole focus of today’s column is to inspire creativity in the landscape. As a professional landscaping designer/contractor, I see my role here as numerous possibilities and responsibilities.

As a designer or contractor, I should listen to your wants and needs and then proceed to assess your options. This would be the time to review the colors, sizes, and functions of the landscape you want to have. It’s then that I should advise you as to how realistic, practical, or expensive your thoughts are. My responsibilities would clarify any gray areas that may have not been black or white where each other is coming from on this endeavor.

The designer should then go to the drawing board and produce several plans. One would be a “bubble plan” of the existing and proposed landscaping. This is an overall “functional” plan of the property. It’s role is to give rise to your ideas and my possibilities in each area as they pertain to compliment each other.

The other plan would be the hardscape and landscape that is proposed in detail on paper. This would show details of color, size, and proximity of each plant to each other.

Once the numbers and sizes of material and labor are known, the price becomes evident. Then the left and right hand both know what’s happenin’.

This is the way you achieve an attractive, welcoming setting that will be both aesthetic and functional to you, at a price you’re in agreement with.

This is the way that both parties transition your outdoor living space from “ho-hum” to “WOW.” This is the way you achieve the privacy, wildlife, fragrance, or low-maintenance you’re wanting.

This is not about the Seven Seas but rather about the 7 C’s:

  • you Call
  • I Come on over
  • we Converse
  • we Create a design
  • we Confer
  • I Construct
  • you Compensate

My grandpa and my dad were both in the excavation and lumber business. Their motto was, “The deal is only a good deal if it works for both parties.” For 35 years I’ve tried to perpetuate that thought.

When you study the step-by-step pragmatic nature of this bidding schedule, there aren’t any surprises. That in itself makes both parties happy.

Dudley Wooten

PDT Outdoor Columnist

Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.

Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.

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Community Briefs 4/27/17 | Clay Today

Mail ballot request deadline
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Orange Park voters planning to cast ballots in the May 9 Municipal Super Tuesday Run-Off Election have until May 3 to request a ballot be mailed to them for voting.
Voters are advised to allow at least five days for their ballot to be returned by mail to the Supervisor of Elections office. However, voters can drop off their completed ballots 24 hours a day by delivering their ballots to the Mail Ballot Drop Box located at the front entrance of the Supervisor of Elections Office in Green Cove Springs. Voted mail ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Meanwhile, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Orange Park Town Hall at 2042 Park Ave.
Voters will choose between Larry Nichols and Ron Raymond for Council Seat 1 as neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote plus one vote to win the race outright on April 11.
Raymond received 463 votes, 49.26 percent, while Nichols received 311 votes for 33.09 percent.
For more information, go or call (904) 269-6350 for assistance.

Asdot named acting police chief
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The City of Green Cove Springs has appointed Derek S. Asdot as its Acting Police Chief.
The move comes nine weeks after former chief of police Robert Musco retired suddenly after an investigation revealed he had made racially-charged comments to a black officer in January while planning for the city’s Rev. Martin Luther King Day celebration.
Asdot began his career with the Green Cove Springs Police Department as a patrolman in 2002. During his tenure here, he has also served in the department’s Street Crimes Unit, a Clay County and DEA Task Force Narcotics detective, a patrol sergeant and lieutenant before taking the new position. Prior to entering law enforcement, Asdot also served as an airborne infantryman in the U.S. Army where he attained the rank of specialist upon his honorable discharge in 1996.
Asdot will serve as acting police chief through the end of this fiscal year and is scheduled to attend the FBI National Academy for further training, according to a news release from the city.

Canterfield of Clay County names executive director
ATLANTA – Medical Development Corp., developer and owner of Canterfield Senior Living Communities, has named D. Brent Montgomery executive director of Canterfield of Clay County.
A graduate of Mississippi State University, Montgomery has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing. He has been a licensed nursing home administrator since 1993.
Prior to joining Canterfield, Montgomery served in numerous administrator positions, including skilled nursing and assisted living facilities as well as home health care agencies.
“Brent Montgomery brings a wealth of knowledge to our Executive Director position,” said Winston A. Porter, president of Atlanta-based Medical Development Corp. “Not only does he have a deep understanding of the elder care field, but he also exhibits a strong personal passion for its inherent mission. These traits, coupled with his in-depth working knowledge of the business aspects of his position in addition to his robust team building and leadership skills, made Brent our logical choice to fill the critical position of executive director at Canterfield of Clay County, our newest Canterfield campus.”
Canterfield enables residents to age in place with Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care services.

Land Trust to hold 6th Annual Fish Fry
JACKSONVILLE – North Florida Land Trust is hosting its 6th Annual Fish Fry at Big Talbot Island on May 20. The family-friendly event will be from noon until 5 p.m. at Talbot House on Big Talbot Island, 12134 Houston Ave. in Jacksonville. There will be live music, marsh views, food, local beers, lawn games and more.
“This fundraising event is so much fun for all ages,” said Jim McCarthy, executive director of North Florida Land Trust. “It is a great opportunity for everyone to spend some time out at Big Talbot Island, partake in a nature hike and learn more about why Big Talbot Island is such a special place. It is a great example of why we at North Florida Land Trust do what we do.”
A Florida Master Naturalist will be there to take people on a free guided nature hike. The hike is 1.5 miles and hikers will learn about all the natural plants and wildlife that can be seen on Big Talbot Island. The hikes will leave at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Space is limited and guests can sign up for the preferred time when purchasing tickets.
Guests are encouraged to BYOC or bring your own chair, sit on the lawn and enjoy live music from some local favorites. Junco Royals will be playing traditional old time jazz and LPT will perform their Afro-Cuban beats. Bold City Brewery will bring the beer and Beer 30: San Marco is providing cider. Safe Harbor and Indulge Food Truck will be serving up the food for the fish fry. Vegan and gluten-free options will also be available.
Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door and include entry and a meal. Kids under 12 are $10 in advance or $20 at the door and students with ID are $15 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at For more information, contact or call (904) 479-1962. Tickets are rain or shine. No refunds.
Founded in 1999, North Florida Land Trust is a nonprofit organization who serves as a champion of land conservation primarily in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns counties.

Landscaping database saves homeowners time, money and water
PALATKA – An online resource is saving time, money and water for homeowners who are looking for landscaping ideas. The St. Johns River Water Management District’s waterwise plant database can help landscapers and do-it-yourselfers research the right plants for their yards’ specific growing conditions.
“Among the district’s greatest priorities is promoting water conservation,” said Ann Shortelle, SJRWMD executive director. “Because one of the biggest uses of water is lawn and landscape irrigation at our homes and businesses, using water wisely in our landscapes is an important personal responsibility. Florida-friendly landscaping is easy – plus, saving water saves homeowners money!”
To date, rainfall during 2017 has been below average with future predictions for similar rainfall trends. If a landscape’s sunlight and soil conditions are assessed correctly, well-chosen plants will need little to no supplemental irrigation once established.
The district’s waterwise landscaping webpages provide information on how to design a water-conserving landscape and how to group plants according to their needs, such as planting region, sunlight and soil conditions.
The database, which is found at, is searchable by scientific name, common name, size, color of flowers, hardiness zone, soil moisture needs, light and shade requirements, salt tolerance, and more. It also offers information on hundreds of plant species and allows users to compare information about different plants to determine if they are suitable to plant together and to help the user better plan planting areas. The database works on smartphones and other mobile devices, so can conveniently be taken along when shopping at a garden center.
April is Water Conservation Month, a designation intended to heighten public awareness about the variety of ways to reduce our water use. For additional water conservation tips to help you save money around the home, visit

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Freshen up those gardens with a fresh layer of mulch – Tribune

Whether you’re spreading shredded bark mulch around your trees and shrubs, or laying straw or shredded leaves down in the vegetable garden, this is the perfect time of year to think about how to properly mulch your yard and gardens.

It’s important to keep a few things in mind before, and during, the mulching process.

Tip 1: The term “mulch” refers to any substance applied to the soil surface to suppress weeds, retain soil moisture, and stabilize soil temperatures. There are dozens of different types of mulch, so choose your products carefully. And remember, like most things in life, you get what you pay for. The cheap, bagged mulch you can pick up at the gas station is not necessarily the best mulching product for your yard.

Tip 2: Different garden areas thrive with different mulching materials in place. For example, tree and shrub beds do just fine when mulched with shredded bark products, but these materials are often too heavy for tender vegetable seedlings or flowering annuals. For veggie gardens and flower beds, consider using compost, leaf mold, or mushroom soil as mulch instead. These materials are lighter and they’ll break down faster, allowing the nutrients contained in them to feed the growing plants throughout the gardening season.

Tip 3: Don’t mulch waterlogged soils. If the ground is still wet at your house, wait a week or two to start mulching. Covering wet soil with a thick layer of mulch too early in the season means it will stay waterlogged far longer and may become a challenge to work with as the growing season progresses.

Tip 4: Remove all existing weeds before laying down any mulches, otherwise the weeds will eventually pop up out of the mulch and keep on growing. Mulch seldom fully smothers existing weeds, especially if they’re perennial weeds like dandelions or Canada thistles. If you want season-long weed control, you have to remove all existing weeds before mulching.

Tip 5: Do not apply more than 2 to 3 inches of mulch to any garden area. No matter what type of mulch you’re using, too-thick layers will stifle air exchange with plant roots and may lead to bigger issues. Like fertilizer, adding more mulch isn’t better. Roots require air.

Tip 6: Do not allow any type of mulch to come into direct contact with plant stems or trunks. Piling mulch around the base of tree trunks or on top of perennial crowns encourages root girdling, crown rot, and a slow death. Instead of making a pile of mulch against it, form a circle of mulch around each plant, keeping the mulching product several inches away from the base of the plant. Far too many trees are killed by too-thick mulch piled around their trunks.

Tip 7: If you’re worried about mulches splattering dirt onto your light-colored siding, consider putting a two-foot-wide area of river rocks or pea gravel up against your house. Then use other, more plant-friendly, mulches beyond that area.

Tip 8: Avoid using dyed mulches, mulches made from recycled rubber, or mulches that may contain shredded construction debris. These products may contain substances that could harm humans, pets, or soil life. Buy your mulch from a quality landscape supply center or nursery.

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio with Doug Oster. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control” and “Good Bug, Bad Bug.” Her website is

Send your gardening or landscaping questions to or The Good Earth, 622 Cabin Hill Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601.

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Columbia Green hosts 2017 Festival of Gardens in Elmwood Park

Elmwood Park Historic District is the site of this year’s Festival of Gardens Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6. On streets lined with century old trees and homes dating from the early 1900s, nine private gardens and one public park roll out the welcome mat. Residential gardens preserve plants from the past in contemporary landscape designs.

The Charleston inspired “greenness garden” of Eliza Moskovitz features a magnolia and pecan canopy with understory dogwoods, Japanese maples, tea olives, camellias, and crape myrtles. Hydrangeas, Lenten rose, Carolina jessamine, ferns, and ivy thrive in dappled shade.

The young “no fuss plants” garden of Bob and Michele Logan includes jasmine, phlox, gaura, Shasta daisies, bee balm, coral-bells, coneflower, hydrangea, and tea olives. Michele’s affinity for herbs prompted parterre herb beds.

The 1909 home of Ed and Noelle Brault is on the national Register of Historic Homes. In updating the gardens, Brault added a kitchen herb garden, garden rooms, backyard fireplace, swing, and fountain.

Garden gates and arbors add suspense and surprise to a garden.
Garden gates and arbors add suspense and surprise to a garden.
Over 90 species of native plants are the focus in Bob and Ellen Blundy’s garden. Front yard bog gardens contain Venus flytrap, pitcher plants, and wild orchids. The back garden’s small pond has lizard’s tail, hardy water lilies, and climbing roses and vines around an arbor. Red bud, red maple, bald cypress, and Atlantic white cedar trees provide privacy.

Shelley Magee’s “low maintenance” garden of hardy, disease resistant plants from spring to frost, was a family affair. Her father and brother built the pergola while she constructed the outdoor fireplace.

Wildflowers border the front yard and sago palms flank the brick path leading to the Craftsmanstyle bungalow of Ford and Paulina Graham. A sunny side garden includes tea olives, weeping cherry, forsythia, fig, and crape myrtle. A shady side garden hosts camellias, fatsia, hydrangeas, azaleas, and hostas. Fountains and feeders attract birds.

Ferns and friends are meant for front porches.
Ferns and friends are meant for front porches.
Angela Taylor’s garden is the new kid on the block. After her home was built in 2000, she added the garden. Front and back porches host containers of begonias, hibiscus, mandevilla, and geraniums. Pink blossoms of mimosa attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Sara Goldsby and Chris Goodman inherited a peaceful downtown neighborhood “garden of three fountains” from prior owners. Brick landscaping and back porch bring the interior of the house outside where visitors will find magnolias, oleanders, gardenias, camellias, tea olives, hydrangeas, and azaleas.

Front porches bring memories of swings, lemonade and family conversations.
Front porches bring memories of swings, lemonade and family conversations.
Denise Dickinsen brings her cross-country travel to public and private gardens, nurseries, and roadsides back home to her garden. Ferns, gardenias, Lenten roses, and caladiums encircle a century old sycamore tree in the back garden. Oregon grapes (Mahonia spp.), Japanese maples, and Hinoki flat spread cypress from Seattle co-mingle with a southern blue bottle tree and two-tiered fountain.

The proposed revitalization plan for Roy Lynch Park, including a new Butterfly Garden, will be introduced on the tour.

Advance tickets to the Festival of Gardens may be purchased online at Registration begins at 9 a.m. each day at the Earlewood Park Community Center, 1111 Parkside Drive where vendors will be onsite and light refreshments will be served from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the tour fund Columbia Green’s mission to promote landscape beautification throughout the metropolitan area.

Bedding partners iris and phlox along a garden wall
Bedding partners iris and phlox along a garden wall

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Japanese beetles are about to emerge in force, threatening crops & gardens

Des Moines, Iowa – With all the fuss about musician Paul McCartney making his first concert stop in Iowa in a dozen years, there’s news of looming trouble with another beetle, the creepy-crawly kind. Entomologist Robert Wright says conditions appear favorable this year for a wider infestation of the Japanese beetle in Iowa and across the region. It can be a threat to Iowa’s top two crops and our gardens.

Iowans have likely seen the bug but may not know it’s a Japanese beetle. They’re easy to identify.

The pests have been in the U-S for nearly a century and here in the Midwest for perhaps 30 years. Not only are they a threat to corn and soybean crops, but they can gobble up our gardens and landscaping.

Iowa’s farmers need to be on particular guard for the insect.

He says the same insecticide used to control white grubs also works well on the beetles.

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Stark Parks offers green thumb tips with gardening series – News …

PERRY TWP.  The planting and growing season is upon us and Stark Parks once again has been offering a free gardening series at the Exploration Gateway for those who want to learn a new thing or two about successful gardening.

The 10-week series, which is taught by local master gardeners, began in late March and continues through May 11.

“We top off the series with the annual spring plant sale which is on May 20 this year,” said Danielle Grimm, education administrator assistant and plant sale coordinator. “Stark Parks has offered the gardening classes for at least 11 years and it has grown every year.”

The April 20 class, presented by Master Gardener Fred Hanacek, focused on common pests and diseases found in gardens. Tips were shared on practical solutions preventing their occurrence.

Hanacek started the presentation by saying that three elements are a must have for good gardens: sun, good soil and water. The participants heard several ways to test and prepare soil and how to set up a good irrigation system. Hanacek also suggested making a plan for the garden before starting to plant.

He said the best way to water plants is to put the water on the roots. If you water the leafy parts of the plants, it will encourage weeds to grow.

“I believe the biggest pests in our gardens are the weeds, others may tell you it’s the butterflies that lay eggs but I think it’s the weeds,” Hanacek said. “Items needed for weed control are a good hoe, a household vinegar mix to spray, black plastic mulch, weed control plastic and flame control.”

Hanacek also gave information on physiological disorders such as blossom end rot, leaf roll, catface, zipper and lightning injury.

“Walnut wilt is another common disorder,” he said. “Don’t plant close to walnut trees or their root lines. There is a poisonous substance in the tree that will kill plants.”

Participants learned about the most common pests including beetles, stink bugs and moths. Hanacek said the stink bugs first showed up in the U.S. in 2001. There are native to Asian countries and started to show up in the crates of fruits and vegetables shipped to cities along the East Coast of the United States.

There are several beneficial insects such as spiders and birds which help protect gardens. Lady bugs, garden spiders, praying mantis, cardinals, robins and house sparrows all help keep the garden plants safe while growing.

“The feedback is always positive from the participants,” Grimm said. “We try to offer informative classes on topics that are trendy and we try to offer a take home for every class so that students can try what they learned in the class at home.

“Gardening and rowing food at home is popular right now with all ages. Offering the 10 week series is a way for us to help people be successful with their gardens.”

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