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Archives for May 4, 2017

New look at Carroll Gardens condos, inspired by Scandi Modern design

A few months ahead of its sales launch, a boutique condo project in Carroll Gardens has unveiled a teaser site, and developer Avery Hall Investments has released a new rendering for the residential building that will bring 17 apartments to the neighborhood.

The project was announced last summer after Avery Hall purchased the vacant lot at 145 President Street (along with a few other properties in the immediate area) for $11 million. Plans have remained the same from that time with 17 apartments spread out over 31,653 square feet of space.

Most of the apartments here will be three and four-bedroom units, including two garden residences and two penthouses. Eight of the apartments will feature private outdoor space, and most will come with operable French door-inspired windows. Avery Hall hasn’t indicated how much the condos will be priced at, but the medians sales price on all homes in the neighborhood is currently at $735,000, according to Trulia.

In Cobble Hill, where Avery Hall is developing an eight-unit condo building, prices start at $1.975 million, and at the developer’s Columbia Street development, where sales launched a couple of days ago, prices start at $1.55 million. If that’s any indication, the condos at the Carroll Gardens development will likely be equally pricey.

The Carroll Gardens condo will feature a facade made with handmade Kolumba brick from Denmark (the same brick that’s being used at DDG’s controversial Upper East Side condo), and amenities here will include a fitness center, a library, bike storage, on-site parking (for an additional price) and a 1,500-square-foot communal roof terrace with views of the Manhattan skyline.

The project is being designed in-house by Avery Hall, and sales and marketing will be handled exclusively by Stribling Marketing Associates. The condo is expected to wrap construction sometime in the third quarter of 2018.

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7 starter ideas for Mother’s Day

It’s time to honor that special woman in your life. Mother’s Day is approaching, and whether you are buying for your mother, your wife, or both, consider some inexpensive alternatives or ways to save money on classic Mother’s Day gifts.

  • Flowers – Flowers are a popular Mother’s Day present, but you don’t necessarily have to pay flower shop prices. Instead of paying for a vase and the extra arrangement costs, find your own simple vase and make your own arrangement. You can find inexpensive yet beautiful flower bundles at most supermarkets that you can turn into a lovely bouquet on your own. Take the time to find out what types of flowers she prefers and which property is the most important to her (color, appearance, fragrance, etc.)
  • Plants/landscaping – Mother’s Day is the perfect time of year to put out most new plants. Farmer’s markets and local gardening society meetings/sales can be great places to pick up plants without paying holiday markup at home improvement stores or nurseries.
  • Handmade gifts – A well-thought out handmade gift can be worth far more to your mother than the money you spent. For example, customize a picture frame with sentimental mementoes and insert her favorite family picture. If you are a knitter, make her an afghan or a scarf. An Internet search of “Mother’s Day DIY gifts” should spur your imagination and help you find a project that your mother will love within your price range and skill set.
  • Refurbishing projects – Does she have a favorite piece of furniture that is in need of repair or refinishing? If it’s in your skill set to do so, consider tackling this project. It might be difficult, or unwise, to do this as a surprise, so you may want to make the offer first.
  • Hobby accessories – Does your mother have a favorite hobby such as knitting or gardening — or perhaps she likes to golf or rebuild vintage Chevys? Regardless of her hobby, find subtle ways to find out what accessories she needs. Take an interest in her hobby and you are likely to find a suitable choice. Shop well in advance so you can take advantage of any coupons or sales related to her hobby if you can, and try to use your credit card rewards. You can check your credit score and apply for credit cards with top rewards for free at MoneyTips.
  • Gift cards – Got a hard-to-please mom? Consider gift cards so she can redeem them whenever she wants for whatever she wants.
  • Start early and watch for discount opportunities — Mother’s Day is chock full of sales, rebates, and coupon opportunities. Make sure you check your local stores, newspapers, and websites/social media for deals related to your choice. Whatever you decide to shop for or make, start early. You will generally have the best selection and avoid pre-holiday markups. If you are making a Mother’s Day present, starting early gives you a little extra cushion in case you have a mishap. Mom probably won’t mind if her homemade gift is a bit late, but why take the chance?

The most important thing of all is to know your mother’s likes and dislikes. It’s a good idea to notice potential gift ideas throughout the year and stash them away for future reference. You are more likely to come through with a pleasant surprise that way (but make sure she hasn’t already bought the item for herself).

With a little time and effort, you can make Mother’s Day even more special. However, don’t forget to give your Mom the most important gift of all — your time and attention. This last gift on our list may not cost you a dime, but Mom will value it most of all. Let her know that you love her and would do anything for her, not just on Mother’s Day but throughout the year as well.

This article was provided by our partners at

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Landscaping Camp Featuring Jeff McManus Set To Begin May 26

With April Showers giving way to May flowers, our thoughts turn to getting our lawns and landscaping ready for summer.

Memorial Day weekend is regarded as the best time to plant annuals, as there is no longer any risk of frost. If you would like to learn how to create a beautiful landscape in your own backyard, then Landscaping Camp is for you!

The camp will take place May 26-28 at the Inn at Ole Miss on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford, Mississippi. The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Foundation Retirement Attraction program are hosting the Landscaping Camp.

An outstanding line-up of professionals will be presenting talks, tours and visits to two beautiful homes.

“We’re excited to be featuring Jeff McManus, whose expertise in landscaping has earned accolades for The University of Mississippi as being ‘The Most Beautiful Campus’ from a number of national publications,” said Rosie Vassallo, director of retirement attraction. “We’ll be rolling out the green carpet, inviting participants to enjoy the seminars and visits to the magnificent landscaped campus and private homes. Afterward our ‘campers’ will be excited to put their new ideas to work taking their homes to a new level of beauty.”

Research shows that beauty created through landscaping is one of the top three factors in creating community attachment or loyalty to your particular town, city or neighborhood.

The cost of registration is $375 per person (which does not include accommodation) and the deadline to sign-up is May 19. Here’s what’s scheduled for each day!

May 26, Day One:

1 – 3 p.m.: Registration, Inn at Ole Miss.

3 p.m.: Walking tour of Ole Miss campus with Jeff McManus (wear comfortable shoes).

**No accommodations will be available for wheelchairs.

6 p.m.: Dinner/Book Signing at the Inn at Ole Miss. Introduction of Jeff McManus, keynote speaker, followed by book signing. Each participant will receive two books written by McManus.

May 27, Day Two:

Mitch Robinson

9 – 10 a.m.: “Creating a Bird Friendly Landscape,” speaker Mitch Robinson from the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center.

10 – 11 a.m.: Hop on the Double Decker bus for a tour of Dickie and Dianne Scruggs’s home.

11 a.m. – Noon: Tour of Oxford’s historic sites on the Double Decker Bus.

Carson Ellis

Noon – 1:30 p.m.: Lunch, Inn at Ole Miss followed by “Butterfly Gardening,” speaker Carson Ellis, Horticulturist from Memphis Botanical Garden.

2 – 3:30 p.m.: “Prune Like A Pro,” speaker Jeff McManus, University of Mississippi.

3:45 – 5 p.m.: “Talking Turf,” speaker David Jumper, UM Golf Course, Tallahatchie Spray Service.

After 5 p.m.: Free time to enjoy Oxford’s fabulous shopping and dining destinations.

David Jumper

May 28, Day Three:

9 – 10 a.m.: “Cut Flower Gardening,” speaker Donna Yowell, executive director of the Mississippi Urban Forest Council. Yowell is known for starting the first cut flower garden for the Governor’s Mansion.

10 – 11 a.m.: Tour of Sam and Mary Haskell’s home, reached by the Double Decker Bus.

Donna Yowell

In addition, if you don’t have a place to stay in Oxford you can make reservations with the Inn at Ole Miss at a discounted rate by calling 1-888-486-7666. The deadline for the discounted rate is May 5.

We would like to thank our major sponsors for supporting this inaugural event. The sponsors include: The City of Oxford, The University of Mississippi, MaxxSouth Broadband, Rebel Realty and Property Management LLC, The Inn at Ole Miss, Stages Mississippi Magazine, and

Interested parties can learn more, as well as register, by going to or contact Rosie Vassallo by email at or by phone 662- 234-4651.

For questions or comments, email

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District says time to save water

The Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) water conservation period began Monday and extends through the end of September, according to a press release.

The five month period is the time when water use is at its peak, according to district officials.  

Since January 2016, groundwater levels in the district have been above drought thresholds.  Recent wet weather has helped augment water supplies, but there is still a need to conserve water resources, according to the release.  

Starting May 1, the BSEACD initiates a voluntary 10% reduction in groundwater pumping by its permittees. 

“Through being mindful of smart water use during the hot summer months, a little effort by individual end-users, when multiplied across central Texas, can do a great amount of good,”  John Dupnik, Aquifer District General Manager, said.  

“Our groundwater users are traditionally very conscious of water use.  Simple leak fixes and water conservation choices can add up to make a big difference in extending our long-term water supply,” states Robin Gary, Senior Public Information and Education Coordinator. 

Water conservation strategies, rainwater harvesting information, water-wise landscaping ideas, and self irrigation audit guidance is available at 

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11 Landscaping Ideas That Will Transform Your Yard

Smart landscaping can add interest to your lawn and boost your curb appeal. Use these professional ideas and tips to create a timeless landscape that is easy to maintain.

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Stormwater initiative will green Milwaukee Public Museum entrance

Published May 3, 2017 at 9:03 a.m.

While some in Milwaukee are thinking about the long-range outlook for the future of the Milwaukee Public Museum and its home at 800 W. Wells St., the museum is partnering with The Green Team of Wisconsin and others to revitalize its Wells Street entrance.

The groups are collaborating with Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Fund for Lake Michigan to better manage stormwater runoff into the deep tunnel from the museum site.

The Green Infrastructure Demonstration Garden project was drawn by Hanging Gardens – which has expertise in vegetated roofing, stormwater mitigation, and bioremediation – in collaboration with staff from The Green Team, a sustainable landscaping company, and Milwaukee Public Museum.

MMSD and the Fund for Lake Michigan are providing funding in the form of grants.

“The courtyard will become an inviting space and a more worthy entrance to our great museum, featuring bright, open spaces, native plantings and teaching gardens, all with educational and informative signage,” said The Green Team of Wisconsin Business Manager Matt Astbury.

“This is a catalyst project that makes the space more usable and engaging for self-tours and especially for the tens of thousands of students that visit annually and will be complete with a small stage for educators or entertainment.”

“Other elements will now connect the landscape to what’s happening elsewhere at MPM, like highlighting the solar panel, green roof and the butterfly exhibit by way of pollinator garden. Raised beds will highlight the pathway and history of food into our culture, as well as indigenous cultures uses various plants for medicine or dyes for clothes.”

The fully grant-funded plan – for which the museum raised more than $100,000 – includes native landscaping – with stormwater trees that drink up moisture – in the 9,500-square foot sunken entrance area that is currently underutilized by the museum, but that has the opportunity to become not only a showplace but a welcoming entrance to the museum and a usable space for patrons and the neighborhood.

There will also be porous pavement to allow water to return to the soil beneath; rain barrels and cisterns to collect water for reuse; and bioswales to help remove silt and pollutants from water as it seeps back into the ground.

In its description of the project document, Hillary Olson, the museum’s vice president of audience and community engagement, wrote, “Our goal is to design the entry space, not only to serve as additional infrastructure for volume stormwater collection and management, but also to serve as an educational tool to educate and inspire thousands of MPM visitors about the possibilities of going green themselves.”

The project follows in a series of green initiatives undertaken by the museum in recent years, including a green roof and a solar array installed on the facade in 2014. The project also includes a descriptive panel that will highlight the museum’s green roof.

Museum CEO Dennis Kois has said the current museum building, which dates to the early 1960s, is extremely inefficient and expensive in terms of utilities usage. That cost is part of what’s fueling the drive for a new museum building.

“MPM is thrilled to be partnering with the Green Team and Hanging Gardens with support from the Fund for Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to transform our Wells Street courtyard into a green oasis that will be used for museum activities and demonstrations,” said Olson.

“The space itself will be a demonstration of green infrastructure, including water management and native species gardening, which we’re excited to share with the Milwaukee community.”

A second phase of the plan projects another 7,500 square feet of green space on the west side of the building. That work would begin upon the completion of the work out in front.

According to the plan, the elements of the projects will have a lifespan ranging from more than 10 years (native landscaping), to 25 years (bioswales) to indefinite (cisterns, rain barrels, porous pavement).

So, why do this when the museum is considering moving?

“It will be at least 10 years before the museum could move into a new building,” said Olson. “In the meantime, it’s important for us to continue providing the community educational opportunities. This project will be the third green infrastructure project we have completed. We are certain that our audience will enjoy learning about the use of rainwater as much as they’ve enjoyed learning about our solar wall and green roof.”

The project is slated to begin June 15 and be completed by July 31.

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Library Lines





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