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Archives for May 6, 2017

May gardening tips – Entertainment & Life – Times Record – Fort …

If the old saying “April showers bring May flowers” is true, we should have an abundance of flowers this summer. Here are some tips for gardening.

The first one is for the gardener: The best time to work in the garden is before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. If this is not possible, protect your skin with long sleeved shirts and hats that shade your face and neck — advice from dermatologists.

May is a good time to:

• Repair your lawn. Fill in bare spots by slightly loosening surface of the soil and sow a good quality lawn seed evenly over the area. Tamp the seed in gently and water. Keep moist by covering with light mulch of lawn clippings. It’s also time to start mowing and to fertilize warm-season lawns — zoysia and Bermuda. Frequent mowing results in a healthier lawn with fewer weeds.

• Mulch soil to save water, smother weeds and keep soil cooler. Spread 1-3 inches of bark chips, compost, wood shavings or other material around shrubs, trees, annuals and vegetables.

• Set out annual bedding plants for summer color, including in your selection those that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Remember to pinch back annuals when 4 to 6 inches high to promote bushy growth. Also plant summer bulbs such as cannas, dahlias, elephant ear, caladiums and gladiolus.

• Prune spring flowering shrubs, especially azaleas, as soon as flowers fade. If you prune later, you will remove next season’s flower buds. Also feed azaleas and check for lacebugs. Look for yellowed and stippled infestations on top of leaves and black deposits on the underside.

• Break off wilting tulip or daffodil heads but continue to feed and care for the plants until the foliage dies back naturally (six to eight weeks). Resist cutting off the foliage too early.

• Plant warm season vegetables — tomatoes, pepper, squash, okra and corn. Extend the harvesting season with a second planting in three to four weeks.

• Plant new roses and fertilize old ones.

• Move houseplants outside if you haven’t already done so. Expose plants to sunlight gradually. It’s also a good time to repot those that have outgrown their containers.

• Keep an eye out for insects and signs of diseases and take appropriate measures immediately.

• And finally, although we had a wet April, remember that plants need moisture to thrive in Arkansas.

Lance Kirkpatrick is the Sebastian County Cooperative Extension agent. Have questions about lawn, garden or other horticulture related issues? The Sebastian County Extension Service can help with offices in Barling and Greenwood. Call (479) 484-7737 for answers to horticulture questions.

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How to plant a tree

Posted: Saturday, May 6, 2017 8:15 am

How to plant a tree

By Bob Beyfuss
For Columbia-Greene Media

“Society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never stand” is a Greek proverb that dates back thousands of years, but it is as true today as it was then.

It affirms a fundamental confidence in the continuity of life beyond one’s own allotment. It could have been written for my best friend, Lester Gass.

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Saturday, May 6, 2017 8:15 am.

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World Naked Gardening Day: 7 practical & useful tips |

Fancy gardening in the nude? See these tips first!

I love gardeners. I consider myself one, and many of my friends are gardeners. I have weeded and tended various gardens for pleasure and profit, and now I work for a gardening magazine. But I am not putting my trowel up for World Naked Gardening Day, celebrated every first Saturday of May since 2005. Absolutely not. Much as I romanticise the notion of dancing under the lemon tree clothed only in moonlight to scare away possums and other pests, I draw a line in the compost here.

I have done my research. I know World Naked Gardening Day encourages people to tend their gardens unclothed, as nature intended, in the spirit of communion with all living things. A worthy ideal. But this must be a Northern Hemisphere invention, dreamed up to literally send shivers down the spine of feijoa-loving Southern Hemisphere gardeners bracing themselves – and their beloved subtropicals – for polar blasts at this time of the year.

But hey, that’s just me. For those brave souls with green fingers and thick skin who do not share my reservations, we at NZ Gardener have come up with practical tips for gardening in the nude.

May 6 is World Naked Gardening day. Yes, it's an idea dreamed up in the Northern Hemisphere.

May 6 is World Naked Gardening day. Yes, it’s an idea dreamed up in the Northern Hemisphere.

Today is National Nude Gardening Day just in case anyone wanted to do that?! Haha #nakedgardening #nakedgardeningday

A post shared by Tanille Yow Ulm (@tanille_yow_ulm) on May 2, 2015 at 5:41am PDT

20 ways to keep cats out of your garden
* Beating pests
How to attract birds

Stay away from rose bushes and brambles. This is not the day to put in prickly plants. Similarly, plants with sap, toxins and possible allergenic properties are best avoided. Instead, weed around your barenaked ladies and peter peppers.

Wear sunblock – yes, everywhere.

You won’t have pockets for your secateurs and other useful bits, so keep a  trug or small bucket at hand.

A kneeling pad protects your knees and could well prove useful in other positions.

🍑T A K E N O T E 🌿#nakedgardening #nakedgardeningday

A post shared by suom (@atadaalaluna) on May 2, 2017 at 7:02pm PDT

Vigorous digging may help you keep warm. 
If you have nothing to dig up, working in the glasshouse could do the trick.

Warn your neighbours to keep their curtains closed or retreat to a more secluded patch. People have been arrested for flashing the neighbourhood.

7.    Power tools of any kind are best avoided.

✨ no yard for #internationalnakedgardeningday so we took the indoor beauties to the sanctuary of seclusion ✌🏽️✨ only love can be universally accepted 😽 #oregonexplored #oregon #longhairdontcare #plants #plantbased #plantlife #outdoors #outside #nature #natural #nakedplanet #hippielife #earth #motherearth #adventurecat #birthdaygirl #birthdaysuit #catlife #nofilter #tree #cannabiscommunity #420girls #allnatural #forest #nymph #nakedgardening #nakedgarden #nakedgardeningday #gardening

A post shared by 🌳chantrelle🍄 (@chantywood) on May 7, 2016 at 6:04pm PDT

I am told some gardeners have a looser interpretation of the “naked” part of the day, and a hat, gloves and one gumboot for your digging foot could count as accessories. Good to know. 

And to my husband who volunteered to pose for the photo shoot for this story, that won’t be necessary, dear. I do, however, appreciate your willingness to support my career with, well, everything you’ve got.


 – NZ Gardener

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Five simple steps to make a colourful hanging plant holder

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Time for a trim: Alan Titchmarsh’s tips on pruning early flowering shrubs

It’s that lovely time of the year when fresh foliage is emerging on trees, shrubs and border plants and the garden is bursting into life once more. I love it!

But it is also a time when the blooms on the earliest flowering shrubs, such as forsythia and flowering currant, are starting to fade.

You can leave them alone, of course, and they will be perfectly happy to bloom again next spring but if you do this year after year you’ll notice a build-up of old and gnarled stems that, in time, will be more reluctant to flower.

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Sharum’s Garden Center Tips: Caring For Crepe Myrtles, Japanese Maple Trees

In this week’s Sharum’s Garden Center Tips, Frank talks about caring for your crepe myrtles and the common disease the plant gets.

Frank said he recommends Bayer Advanced, which is a dual action tree and shrub treatment formula.

He said the formula will help rid the tree of the disease starting with the bugs it attracts from the soil up.

Frank also discusses popular trees for the spring season like the Japanese maple and the green dissectum Japanese maple.

The combination of the two trees is very beautiful because of the different color contrast.

Sharum’s Garden Center offers over twenty varieties of trees, so there is something for everyone.

Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is right around the corner and the nursery has the perfect gift for mom this year.

Segment Sponsored By: Sharum’s Garden Center

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Master Gardener: Garden tips for May

Susan Moore Sevier is part of the Tulare-Kings Master Gardener program. Visit, email or write UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, 680 N. Campus Drive, Suite A, Hanford, CA 93230.

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This Week’s Top Home and Design News

This Week’s Top Story

If your dreams haven’t been on the sweet side lately, perhaps it’s time to change things up. Take advantage of the Annual Linen Sale happening this month at all four Bedside Manor Ltd. ( boutiques and online, and refresh your bedding. Throughout May, enjoy savings between 15 and 25 percent on sheets, down, comforters, and coverlets from luxe brands like Missoni Home, SFERRA, Signoria, and Bedside Manor Ltd.’s own Private Label.

Interior Intel

Artistica (990 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, has unveiled a redesigned website. The Italian ceramics go-to in the North Shore has a new online look complete with an easy-to-navigate layout, larger images, and simple checkout.

Throughout May, Dilly Lily ( will have a pop-up shop open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. in the lobby of TheWit (201 N. State St., The Loop outpost of the 20-year-old Lincoln Park florist will offer exotic plants, floral arrangements, candles, and more.

Kneen Co. (399 W. Fullerton Pkwy., Ste. 1E, has expanded its Saint-Louis crystal offering with the new Folia Collection. The 25-piece collection of contemporary glassware, decor, and furniture is made of made of crystal and ash wood. Shop the label.

Through May 15, Peachtree Place (303 S. Happ Rd., Northfield, is offering special gifts with Juliska purchases of $100 or more.


Just in time for patio season, the Design Center at the Merchandise Mart (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, is hosting an Outdoor Furniture Sample Sale on floors 14 to 16. Through Saturday, enjoy discounts of up to 75 percent on alfresco designs from brands including Anacara Company, Lloyd Flanders, NorthCape, Woodard Furniture, and more. Register here.

The Herman Miller Sale is back at Design Within Reach (755 W. North Ave., Through May 16, receive 15 percent off select pieces (plus free shipping) from the acclaimed line. Start shopping.

Beginning tomorrow, Idlewood Electric ( will hold its annual Spring Sale. Visit the retailer’s suburban showrooms (114 Skokie Valley Rd., Highland Park; 317 W. Northwest Hwy., Barrington) through May 13 to receive savings up to 70 percent on select items from lighting labels like Hinkley, Hudson Valley, Tech Lighting, and Visual Comfort.


Hubbard Woods Design District (Green Bay Rd. between Scott Ave. and Tower Rd., Winnetka, hosts its monthly First Friday event in the North Shore tomorrow evening. From 5 to 8 p.m., select businesses including Matt Camron, Pagoda Red, and Sawbridge Studios will highlight unique designers and offer light refreshments. View a map of participating First Friday locations.

Spring is in the air, and Jayson Home (1885 N. Clybourn Ave., is celebrating in style with an Open Garden Celebration this Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Lincoln Park showroom will host workshops on planting a garden container suited for your space. Prosecco will be served.

On May 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Abt Electronics (1200 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview, will showcase the Sony Bravia A1E OLED TV and offer a first look at Sony’s 100-inch Flagship Z-Series. Attendees can enjoy beverages and hors d’oeuvres and have the chance to win prizes. RSVP here.


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Open Days 2017 garden tours





Henriette Suhr’s talks about her 13-acre garden in Chappaqua. (Video by Peter Carr/The Journal News)

Stopping to smell the roses is even easier during the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program. During the tours, a variety of spectacular public and private gardens are open for viewing. Admission is $7, unless noted otherwise. Visitors can download directions and find more information about other Open Days tours throughout the Hudson Valley at


Teatown’s Wildflower Island, May 13

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Stop by Teatown to view Wildflower Island, a woodland garden of over 200 species of native plants, including rare Lady’s-slipper orchids nestled among the spring ephemerals. Experienced volunteers will guide visitors.

Teatown will be conducting special tours for Open Days visitors at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. $5 per person but reservations are required, 914-762-2912 ext. 110. Reserve by May 5. FIND IT: 1600 Spring Valley Road, Ossining.

The annual PlantFest, celebrating its 25th year, will also be held on May 13. Shop for unusual annuals, perennials, native plants, herbs and vegetables, and get expert advice on habitat, bee and butterfly attractors, combinations for mixed containers and nature friendly gardening. Complementary vendors will also offer everything from jewelry and ceramics to handmade wooden bowls and kayaks, farm-to-table produce, artisanal breads, herbal vinegars and bee creams – even knife and tool-sharpening. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission is free. Early birds can shop on May 12, from 4-7 p.m. Admission is $20. Includes RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen ‘small plates,’ wine, and local craft beer.

Ravendale, May 13

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Picturesque, mature, rocky, un-mulched, shade garden in a northern Westchester valley with a pond and a greenhouse. FIND IT: 106 Spring Valley Road, Ossining.

Garden of Shobha Vanchiswar Murali Mani, May 13

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Winner of the 2007 Golden Trowel award from Garden Design magazine, this modest-sized organically maintained garden features a cottage garden of bulbs and perennials, a Belgian espalier of fruit trees, a grape arbor, an herb garden, a checkerboard garden, and a “meadow” with naturalized bulbs, native plants, a Domenico Belli sculpture and a greenhouse. FIND IT: 76 Castle Road, Chappaqua

Garden of Phillis Warden, May 20, June 25, July 30

10 a.m.-4 p.m. With perennial borders, three water gardens, a formal vegetable garden, wildflower garden, a fern garden, a marsh garden and a tree platform overlooking the marshlands, there is a lot to see. This garden extends over seven acres. FIND IT: 531 Bedford Center Road, Bedford Hills.

Rocky Hills, May 20

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Find mature specimens of black walnut and ash, complemented by recent additions of weeping beech, dawn redwood, stewartia, dogwood, and an impressive collection of magnolia and conifers. Look out for the forget-me-nots, which are allowed full freedom throughout the garden in May and June. FIND IT: 95 Old Roaring Brook Road, Mt. Kisco.

The Hen the Hive, June 25

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Starting from scratch, the 11-year-old gardens have evolved to both ward off and take advantage of the ever-present white tailed deer. All gardens are organically cultivated featuring open flowerscapes, wildflower meadow paths, and woodlands. Only the vegetable and berry gardens are deer fenced and while the garden features deer-resistant plantings, they are interspersed with flowers that although favored by most herds, make it safely through the summer months. FIND IT: 9 June Road, North Salem

Brae Willows, June 25

10 a.m.-4 p.m. A one-acre garden, began its infancy in June 1967 as an open, barren piece of land with three maximum rhododendrons and a smattering of mature trees. It was completely designed and planted by the owner who also does all of the maintenance, with the exception of the large hedges, which are professionally pruned. The property is divided by a small seasonal creek that winds its way through to the Mianus River bordering the back of the property. The two sides are unified through careful use of trees and bridges. FIND IT: 49 Long Ridge Road, Bedford

7 gift 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.

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

To Read More From MoneyTips:

6 Cheap Ways to Entertain the Kids This Summer

Get A Better Deal On Your Interest Payments

5 Money Lessons to Teach your Kids


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© 2017 KSDK-TV

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How to Build a Retaining Wall: A Landscaping Idea You’ll Love

Landscaping ideas to make your yard look more lush and dramatic abound, but here’s one project you might want to ponder if your house sits on a hill or slope: building a retaining wall.

Retaining walls not only add visual interest—defining garden spaces or other topographical features—they perform a critical function as well. On property that isn’t level, heavy rains can wash soil down to the lower points of your yard, resulting in a muddy mess and smothering the plants below. A retaining wall helps hold all that back.

If you think your yard could benefit from a retaining wall, here are the steps on how to make that happen.

What you’ll need

  • Shovel
  • Work gloves
  • Level
  • Paving stones
  • Tamper
  • Retaining wall blocks
  • Landscape adhesive
  • Landscape fabric
  • Soil for fill

Step No. 1: Figure out where your wall should go

The placement of a retaining wall depends on your yard, but it usually comes down to a balance between aesthetics and functionality, says Danny Lipford, a home improvement expert and host of “Today’s Homeowner,” a TV and radio show.

Typically, it makes sense to place a retaining wall at the lowest point of where your property slopes. However, if you’re suffering serious erosion on a large incline, you might want to consult with an engineer. Retaining walls 4 feet or higher usually require a permit from local building authorities.

Once you decide where you want your wall to go, insert stakes into the ground at each end of the wall, one at each corner (so, four stakes total—or more if your wall has right angles or curves). Then connect these stakes with string so you can picture how the wall will look. You can also measure the dimensions to figure out how many blocks you’ll need.

Blocks manufactured specifically for retaining walls are available at home improvement stores, and are a good idea since their uniform shape makes them easy to stack. They also have a self-aligning rear lip (see photo) that comes in handy, as you’ll learn below.

A retaining wall block with a rear self-aligning lip ($1.96 apiece at Home Depot)
A retaining wall block with a rear self-aligning lip ($1.96 apiece at Home Depot)

Home Depot

Materials and sizes for blocks can vary, so you’ll have to measure the length of your wall to get an idea of how many you’ll need per row.

Let’s say the style of block you choose measures 1 foot long and your wall is 20 feet long; each row will need 20 blocks. Next, settle on how high you want your wall. If your blocks are 4 inches high, a 3-foot wall will need nine rows with 20 blocks—or 180 blocks total.

Step No. 2: Dig out a trench

A retaining wall needs a level, solid foundation, says Lipford. Dig out a trench about 6 inches below ground along the perimeter of where your wall will be (be sure to save this soil to put back in later). Level the soil at the bottom of the trench as you go along.

Make sure your trench is level to form a solid base.
Make sure your trench is level to form a solid base.

Danny Lipford/YouTube

Step No. 3: Add a stone base

Add 2 to 3 inches of crushed rock—what’s known as paver base—to your trench. The rock adds stability and strength to the foundation. Then use a nifty tool known as a tamper to push down the rocks and compact the base, says Lipford. (This step can get dusty, so you might want to wet the paver base lightly with a hose before you tamp.)

You’ll want your first row of blocks to be half-buried under the existing soil level, so if your blocks are 4 inches tall, make sure to leave a 2-inch gap between your crushed paver base and ground level, or 3 inches for 6-inch-tall blocks, and so on.

A level base of crushed pavers
A level base of crushed pavers

Danny Lipford/YouTube

Step No. 4: Stack your blocks

Lay your first row of blocks (each row is known as a “course”).

Your first row of blocks should be below ground level.
Your first row of blocks should be below ground level.

Danny Lipford/YouTube

When you start to build up your retaining wall, stack your rocks at a gradual incline toward the slope, rather than straight up. The slope should generally be 1 inch in for every foot high. This incline counteracts the pressure of earth on the other side.

“If you stack your stones straight on top of one another, you compromise the strength of the retaining wall and it will be more likely to fall over time,” says Tonya Bruin, CEO of To Do Done Handyman Services.

One way to strengthen your wall is to get manufactured blocks with an interlocking lip in the back; these blocks allow you to easily stack each block over the bottom layer to automatically create an incline; the lip also adds extra oomph against the pressure of the dirt from the other side.

The block’s manufacturer will provide a pattern for how to lay the blocks, but the rule of thumb is you want to stagger the joints, like below, which also increases your wall’s strength.

Make sure you stagger the joints for added stability.
Make sure you stagger the joints for added stability.

Danny Lipford/YouTube

As you put down each layer, clean off the top. For added stability, Lipford advises applying landscape adhesive between the rows of blocks. Your final blocks will be the more decorative “cap” blocks.

A little adhesive between blocks goes a long way.
A little adhesive between blocks goes a long way.

Danny Lipford/YouTube

Step 5: Add landscaping fabric then backfill with dirt

Before you fill in the back of your retaining wall with soil, add a layer of landscape fabric along the backside of your bricks to keep soil from leaking through cracks. Once it’s in place, cut the fabric to just below where the top of your soil will be. Fill the rest of this trench with soil and compact lightly with a tamper to avoid settling later. Add plants if desired.

The finished retaining wall
The finished retaining wall

Danny Lipford/YouTube

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