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Archives for June 6, 2017

Gardening ideas from Evelyn: 5 tips for connecting kids to the earth

Calling all parents and grandparents: Here are some tips and projects to connect children to the wonderful world of plants.

Tip No. 1

If you want your children to enjoy gardening, this is the most important tip. Give them lots of praise, no negatives. Everyone loves praise — especially kids! Remember there are no failures, only laughable, learning experiences. An “oops” is a great way to talk about an “oops” of your own. It’s OK to exaggerate your own snafu a bit.

Tip No. 2

Give your kids a garden space of their own. This can be a part of your vegetable garden or a separate little plot. Preschoolers and toddlers do best with a little plot of their very own. They love just digging and aren’t old enough to tell a weed from a new plant. Older children will enjoy working alongside you in your veggie or flower garden. Make sure access to your veggies is easy; make paths wide enough for young feet. It’s great to let your kids help you in your garden but nothing beats, “It’s mine!”

Tip No. 3

Involve your kids from the very beginning. They get to choose the tomatoes or the squash plant. They pick the recipe. Serve a Hubbard squash for dinner. Scoop out the seeds and let your kids wash them and set them out to dry. They get their own seeds ready and get to eat that squash with lots of yummy butter.

Tip No. 4

Add more fun by trying a garden project or two.

Make a tire garden. An old tire, some paint, soil, plants and your child’s imagination can become a mini vegetable garden. That same free tire can become a succulent dinosaur garden or a fairy garden. Painting the tires makes for even more fun. There are classes, supplies and ideas at your local garden center.

Grow your own potato barrel. Start with some sprouted potatoes, a large old trash can, soil and some time. Make lots of holes in the bottom and the sides. Begin with a foot of soil, bury the potatoes and as they grow, keep adding more soil but always leave some green growth above the soil. When you get close to the top and your potatoes bloom, your kids can start to dig for their very own first little potatoes. This usually takes about two months so be patient.

Watch some lettuce grow! Cut the bottom off of a head of romaine lettuce, leaving about 1 inch or so. Suspend it with toothpicks in a glass container so the base is in water. Soon, new little lettuce leaves will start to grow. At the same time, plant other kinds of leaf lettuce in the garden and compare. This also works with a pineapple top or a celery bottom.

Make some seed strips to have ready for easy planting. All you need are some seeds, toilet paper and some flour paste.

Root your own succulents. Children can watch the roots grow if you use toothpicks to set your succulent cutting in an empty pot.

Grow plants that live on air. Tillandsia air plants only need a branch of some kind and the very occasional mist of water.

Tip No. 5

Keep the gardening tasks small, easy and with quick results.

Gardening with your kids will grow vegetables to eat but most of all it will grow lasting memories. What better crop could there be?

Article source: http://seasidecourier.com/home-and-garden/gardening-ideas-from-evelyn-5-tips-for-connecting-kids-to-the-earth/

Midday Fix: Tomato garden tips from Purple Cow Organics | WGN-TV – WGN

Ryan Hartberg

Purple Cow Organics
www.purplecoworganics.com/

Tips:

There are some considerations to begin with, when you’re planting the perfect tomato. Do you want to start from seed? Do you prefer to start with a plant? What kind of variety do I like to eat? Because it’s been a cold, wet spring, it’s not too late to start from seed. And because tomatoes are warm-weather plants, it’s optimal to start tomato plants when it’s no longer cold and rainy in the day and down into the 40s at night. It’s about being an observational grower – you don’t want to be the first one to plant tomatoes just to be first. Wait until the timing is right outside, and be patient.

You can have the best plant in the world, but if it’s grown in bad soil, it won’t be a good plant – or tomato. The good news is that gardening organically is easier than you might think – instead of loading soil with chemical fertilizers, you can replace them with organic matter, nutrients and microbes. Adding a couple of inches of compost brings nutrients back into the soil, and also makes your tomato plants require less attention, because it’s grown in a living, breathing, self-regulating ecosystem. Perfect tomatoes start with good microbiology. A single handful of healthy soil actually contains more microbes than there are people on earth

You can look for organic tomato plants, which will have an organic tag on them. But if you have good, healthy soil, it doesn’t mean that a non-organic tomato plant won’t do well – it still well. Generally speaking, if you’re buying a tomato plant, look for plants that aren’t too tall and leggy – the “squattier” the better. I’d rather have a plant that’s shorter than a tall plant. look for thicker, larger leaves that are greener, versus smaller leaves or yellow leaves.  With seeds, you can buy organic seeds or heirloom tomato seeds.

Tomatoes are heavy feeders, so you have to be sure there is enough fertility in the soil.  If you use bad soil, then the plant is more susceptible to disease and blight, because the plant is defending itself against that, instead of using the energy for strong, healthy growth.  After tilling the soil, you can apply fertilizer, like compost tea, which is good because you can make a batch and add it to plants quickly. Basically, you coat the leaves with a small coating – I’ve gone out in my garden with a spray bottle to spray it on a plant. A good two-inch layer on op will do.

If you have clay or dense soil, you can incorporate compost to escalate the microbiological elements for a better tomato that is not just healthy but nutrient-rich. Alternately, you can use a liquid biological.

People get excited in the early spring, because they’re doing all the work and are glad when the plants are in the bed or container. But later, when you get later into the season, you might get tired of weeding, or it’s hot outside or there’s a lot of mosquitoes. Still, if you want great tomatoes at harvest time, check to see how your plants are growing regularly – are they flowering? Are they distressed?
For watering plants like tomatoes, you want to water less often, but water more.  If you can go every third or fourth day with a good dousing, that’s better for the tomato plant.

Article source: http://wgntv.com/2017/05/30/midday-fix-tomato-garden-tips-from-purple-cow-organics/

Gardening ideas from Evelyn: 5 tips for connecting kids to the earth …

Calling all parents and grandparents: Here are some tips and projects to connect children to the wonderful world of plants.

Tip No. 1

If you want your children to enjoy gardening, this is the most important tip. Give them lots of praise, no negatives. Everyone loves praise — especially kids! Remember there are no failures, only laughable, learning experiences. An “oops” is a great way to talk about an “oops” of your own. It’s OK to exaggerate your own snafu a bit.

Tip No. 2

Give your kids a garden space of their own. This can be a part of your vegetable garden or a separate little plot. Preschoolers and toddlers do best with a little plot of their very own. They love just digging and aren’t old enough to tell a weed from a new plant. Older children will enjoy working alongside you in your veggie or flower garden. Make sure access to your veggies is easy; make paths wide enough for young feet. It’s great to let your kids help you in your garden but nothing beats, “It’s mine!”

Tip No. 3

Involve your kids from the very beginning. They get to choose the tomatoes or the squash plant. They pick the recipe. Serve a Hubbard squash for dinner. Scoop out the seeds and let your kids wash them and set them out to dry. They get their own seeds ready and get to eat that squash with lots of yummy butter.

Tip No. 4

Add more fun by trying a garden project or two.

Make a tire garden. An old tire, some paint, soil, plants and your child’s imagination can become a mini vegetable garden. That same free tire can become a succulent dinosaur garden or a fairy garden. Painting the tires makes for even more fun. There are classes, supplies and ideas at your local garden center.

Grow your own potato barrel. Start with some sprouted potatoes, a large old trash can, soil and some time. Make lots of holes in the bottom and the sides. Begin with a foot of soil, bury the potatoes and as they grow, keep adding more soil but always leave some green growth above the soil. When you get close to the top and your potatoes bloom, your kids can start to dig for their very own first little potatoes. This usually takes about two months so be patient.

Watch some lettuce grow! Cut the bottom off of a head of romaine lettuce, leaving about 1 inch or so. Suspend it with toothpicks in a glass container so the base is in water. Soon, new little lettuce leaves will start to grow. At the same time, plant other kinds of leaf lettuce in the garden and compare. This also works with a pineapple top or a celery bottom.

Make some seed strips to have ready for easy planting. All you need are some seeds, toilet paper and some flour paste.

Root your own succulents. Children can watch the roots grow if you use toothpicks to set your succulent cutting in an empty pot.

Grow plants that live on air. Tillandsia air plants only need a branch of some kind and the very occasional mist of water.

Tip No. 5

Keep the gardening tasks small, easy and with quick results.

Gardening with your kids will grow vegetables to eat but most of all it will grow lasting memories. What better crop could there be?

Article source: http://seasidecourier.com/home-and-garden/gardening-ideas-from-evelyn-5-tips-for-connecting-kids-to-the-earth/

Diarmuid Gavin’s five top garden tips

5 Add colour to your garden. My final tip is don’t be afraid to add some colour to your garden this summer. Once the frost and cold weather of the winter has subsided, you can really bring your garden to life and create a beautiful, colourful space to enjoy. Plants I would recommend planting during the summer include Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’, Heuchera villosa ‘Palace Purple’ and Asiatic lily bulbs.

And so to my species of the week: clematis (pictured) is a family of mainly vigorous flowering climbers and because they’re such a popular plant, breeders and nurseries are keen to introduce new varieties to satisfy demand. Recent introductions which are ideal for the smaller garden have proved to be great sellers. Clematis ‘Corinne’ can be grown in a container or, better still, through an evergreen walled trained shrub on an east-, west- or north-facing wall. It also is a great clematis for using as cut flowers, as it lasts for up to 10 days in water.

Article source: http://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/gardens/diarmuid-gavins-five-top-garden-tips-35774345.html

Tour the Getty Center’s spectacular Central Garden

Since the Getty Center opened in 1997, it has become one of Southern California’s most popular attractions—both for its extensive artwork collection and the unique architecture and landscaping of the museum itself.

One of the center’s most impressive features is the 134,000-square-foot Central Garden designed by artist Robert Irwin. The sprawling green space contains over 500 species of plants from around the world, but when Irwin began work on the living sculpture in 1992, he knew very little about landscaping or horticulture.

The artist began by envisioning a concept that would present visitors with a dazzling display of color, light, and reflection. His design for the garden includes a walkway across a winding stream surrounded by a verdant array of flora (new plants are continually added to the garden as the piece continues to evolve over time).

Towering 20-foot tall bougainvillea arbors dot the landscape, while a floating maze of azalea hedges provides the garden with a dramatic centerpiece.

The garden’s playful landscaping looks especially spectacular from above. The arced pathways and rows of flowers provide a geometric counterpoint to the museum’s swooping design.

Carved into the floor of the garden plaza are the words “Always changing, never twice the same,” a testament to the garden’s tendency to transform over time, as old plants grow and new plants are welcomed into the fold.

Article source: https://la.curbed.com/2017/6/5/15742570/getty-center-central-garden-robert-irwin-la-sculpture

What Is English Garden Design All About | Good Herald

You know one when you see it. The English garden design is all about curved beds, winding paths, riotous color. The gardener’s hand is light. There, but just barely. It lets nature do its own thing. You might even say that the English garden design is controlled chaos.

The history of English garden design began with the revolt against the constraints of formal landscape design and classic landscape design. These two forms, with their appreciation of balance, symmetry and geometry, sit on the opposing end of the spectrum from English garden design. Where formal gardens find beauty in linearity, English gardens use undulating lines. Where formal gardens seek right angles, English gardens use few, if any, angles. The words of the English poet Alexander Pope (1688 to 1744), the “amiable simplicity of unadorned nature”, describe this style.

Impressionist painters were key influencers in the continuing development of the English garden design. Claude Monet (1840 to 1926) claimed that painting and gardening were his only two interests in life. When he first moved to Giverny, where he would build his famous water gardens, his first concern was to arrange the garden in a rampant, naturalistic explosion of color.

The residential English garden design has since become hugely popular in the United States. Houston’s semi tropical climate is well suited for vine covered pergolas, sunny rose gardens, dazzling azalea beds and bursts of seasonal color, all plant materials that fit well within the English garden’s concept of abundance.

A Quick Study of English Gardens
The English garden design is the essence of an informal garden. The different colors and textures of the plant materials, the profuse wildness, draw the viewer in, creating a feast for the mind’s eye. However, while it has elements of a naturalistic garden, it is not considered of this style. Instead, flowering plants are arranged in a seemingly haphazard arrangement that merely recalls a natural landscape.

The general characteristics of an English garden design fall along these lines:
Plants are chosen out of personal preference or connection. It is common to find cuttings from the gardens of family and friends.

Regional plants have prominence because they enhance the naturalistic feel.

Plants, especially flowering ones, are grouped into smaller clumps, not drifts. The desired effect is for the garden to appear somewhat random, but not messy.

Many different kinds of plants are used, annuals, bulbs, herbs, perennials, shrubs and vines.
Scent is very important in an English garden design. Hence, the prevalence of roses and herbs.

Often the garden is enclosed by a picket fence or hedge to help bring some additional order.

Strong mix of colors.

Colors of an English Garden: Evoking the Emotions
English garden design uses plants to reach the viewer emotionally rather than intellectually. Primarily, it is done with color.

Different colors affect people differently, but generally each color has its own psychological appeal. Green is the most restful color. Pale greens and yellow greens are perfect for an English garden design because they feel lighter, brighter and more informal. White creates a sense of space in a garden. Red calls attention to itself or what it surrounds, making it perfect for planting near focal points. Apricot, salmon and peach tints are friendly and welcoming.

Space and Elements of the English Garden Design
The arrangement of elements within the English garden space is very important. Whereas the modern garden design uses a philosophy of “less is more”, the English garden simply says “more.”

Some elements to consider for an English garden:
Gates. The garden entryway can become an important element of an English garden design. Plants can soften the garden gate, making it even more inviting.

Hardscapes are non plant material features of landscape design. Popular residential hardscape structures made of wood that work well in an English garden design include arbors, pergolas and gazebos. In an English garden, walkways meander through the landscape while providing easy access to your home and other structures. Perhaps a retaining wall, a short wall used to hold the soil in place, is needed as part of a proper landscape drainage system. If so, good landscape designers and landscape architects will construct it so that it fits the design.

Material choices. Just as flagstone and travertine work well in a Mediterranean garden design, brick and gravel complement an English garden design.

The Ever After of an English Garden
While English gardens are lower in maintenance than a formal landscape design, a landscape maintenance program is still required. Especially it will involve the systematic feeding of flowers, bushes and trees. Since trees are a vital part of the English garden, make sure proper tree preservation methods are used during installation. A temporary irrigation system and hand digging to minimize damage to trees and their root systems are a very important part of tree preservation. For the longer term, a permanent irrigation system is also a plus for the entire landscape since it will increase the ease of the required regular watering.

Photo
tags
By Emslichter from Pixabay

Article source: http://goodherald.com/what-is-english-garden-design-all-about/

Summer is a good time for landscape planning

Landscapes are dynamic creations that are always changing. Plants grow larger, new plants are added along the way, plants die and even trees may be lost in storms. Over the years, a landscape can change radically from its original look.

How your family uses the landscape also changes over time. Kids grow up with no longer a need for a play area. As gardeners grow older, they often have to change a landscape to make it less labor intensive.

And it is common to move into a house that already has an existing landscape. What worked for the previous owners, however, may not work well at all for your family. As a result, you need to redesign or change the landscape to more closely match your needs.

Now is a great time to study your landscape and develop plans for needed changes. Spend the summer refining your ideas, and you will be ready when our prime planting season for trees, shrubs and ground covers arrives in late October.

 

First, analyze your landscaping needs. Basically, this means sitting down with the family and deciding what the landscape needs to provide.

For instance, determine whether you need to screen unsightly views, remove overgrown shrubs, create shade or privacy, provide an area for children to play, change or enlarge the outdoor living area, give your home a more attractive appearance or whatever else.

Once you’ve decided how you’d like to redesign your landscape, consult landscaping books to help you refine your ideas and then refer to gardening books written for our area to help you select the right plants. Also, talk to knowledgeable people, such as local gardeners you know, LSU AgCenter extension agents, and garden center and nursery staff.

Consider future maintenance requirements of new exterior plantings. Select insect- and disease-resistant plants that are well adapted to our area, and make sure they will not grow too big for the location where you intend to plant them. Remember to choose plants for your landscape that will thrive in the growing conditions of the location where they will be planted. Consider the amount of sun and drainage they will receive, for instance. Remember flower beds are high-maintenance, so don’t overburden yourself.

If you need help developing a design for your yard, landscape professionals can be tremendously useful. If your budget is limited, a professional can help you set priorities and schedule your plan in phases. They can also be as familiar with building codes and deck and swimming pool construction as they are with horticulture and the aesthetics of gardens.

Ask your friends, neighbors and colleagues for recommendations. Your best bet is to select an experienced, well-established firm with a history of completing projects similar to yours. Make sure the company or individual you’re dealing with is properly licensed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, which is required by law.

A licensed landscape architect has a degree in landscape architecture and can sell you an original design whether they install it or not. Landscape horticulturists may help you develop a design, but only as part of a package that includes the plants and their installation. The primary benefit of using any of these experts is to draw on their knowledge, experience and creativity.

If you feel you’re simply indulging yourself when you purchase trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants for your landscape, here’s some information that will make you feel good.

Landscaping your home brings quite a few economic benefits. A well-landscaped home generally sells more quickly and at a higher price than does a comparable home lacking a nice landscape. There are even TV shows on improving curb appeal, and landscaping is a big part. One reason trees and shrubs add value to a home is that, unlike many purchases, over the years they appreciate in value as they grow larger and more beautiful.

Trees also add economic value to homes by helping to reduce heating and cooling costs. Trees work as nature’s air conditioner and heat pump, providing shade in summer and sheltering your home from cold winds in winter. Now during summer heat is a great time to decide where shade is needed.

Landscaping also benefits the environment. A mature tree removes 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year and releases approximately 13 pounds of oxygen. Plants such as lawn grasses control water runoff — a major source of water pollution — slow erosion and allow water to be more readily absorbed into the soil. Trees, shrubs and flowers in the landscape also provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.

It’s nice to add to the value of your property and help the environment, but the most important benefit of landscaping is the personal enjoyment it brings to outdoor living. So go ahead and indulge your love of gardening. It will pay off in many ways in the years to come.

Article source: http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/2017/06/02/summer-good-time-landscape-planning/365970001/

Fresh ideas landscaping the interior. Photo

Delightful ideas landscaping design that is easy to implement at home.

Green corner building – great opportunity to brighten up the gray urban everyday life and spend a few pleasant hours in a pleasant atmosphere.

Interior landscaping is a creative process. Today popular “Piestany”, vertical gardening, florarium, miniature gardens, horizontally-growing trees. And this is only a small fraction of what is available in the interior of modern man.

In this review, some original ideas, which are easy to implement yourself.

© 2017, micetimes.asia. All rights reserved

Article source: http://micetimes.asia/fresh-ideas-landscaping-the-interior-photo/

Cottage Grove city water ban affects every area

The city instituted an administrative state of emergency to facilitate the water ban. Two of the city’s eight wells were taken offline after the Minnesota Department of Health lowered recommended levels of PFOS and PFOA — specific types of perfluorochemical contaminants — in drinking water.

The city has assured residents that city water is safe to drink, but prohibited non-essential water use until the ban is lifted. Watering lawns and gardens, washing the car, irrigation, landscaping and using a sprinkler system are all banned activities.

Communications coordinator Sharon Madsen said that violating the ban would earn residents a ticket.

“We may issue citations if we felt it warranted it,” she said. “That might be if someone repeatedly ignores the watering ban.”

The city will work with businesses, townhomes and other facilities with automatic sprinklers to make sure the systems are offline.

As with any rule, there are a some exceptions.

Public Works management assistant Adam Moshier said residents can get special permits to water any newly planted grass, sod or trees by calling 651-458-2808.

The permit is free and will remain valid until the ban is lifted.

Madsen said the city is encouraging people to try water sharing techniques to keep gardens and landscaping thriving — such as using bathwater on the garden or implementing a rainwater collection system.

Madsen said pavement management areas will be watered as well, to ensure grass returns.

The splash pad at Highlands Park will remain closed during the ban as well, and it’s undecided whether splash pad special events will be held during the watering ban.

In addition to distributing bottled water to over 120 homes using private wells until filtration systems can be installed, the Minnesota Department of Health will test 240 additional wells for PFOA and PFOS levels around Washington County this spring.

The MDH and MPCA are holding an open house from 6-8:30 p.m. June 7 at Cottage Grove City Hall. There will be a presentation at 7 p.m.

Article source: http://www.swcbulletin.com/news/4278444-cottage-grove-city-water-ban-affects-every-area

‘Cart’ gardens will be planted this week – Lockport Union

Sometimes it’s tough to find sunny spots for gardening in western New York.

One 2015 Weather Channel report ranked Buffalo as the cloudiest city in America — albeit tied with notoriously dreary Seattle.

Thanks to a new program through Eat Smart New York, a handful of determined growers may soon bring their gardens to any place where the sun is shining.

This week, Eat Smart will provide a few local families with small gardens in shopping carts.

Organizers say the program, known as Grow on the Go, helps promote gardening, nutrition and physical activity, and is also ideal for renters who cannot dig garden beds near their homes.

Agents of Eat Smart, a nutrition education program, based the idea off a mobile gardens concept by North Coast Food Web in Portland, Oregon, another UV-challenged city.

“With our four-seasons-in-one-day weather we have here, it helps to be able to move your garden,” observed Justine Hays, a nutritionist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County.

Eat Smart first offered Grow on the Go at Niagara Falls Public Library’s Main Street branch last year. Ten families and 10 organizations wheeled away gardens planted inside landscaping fabric-covered shopping carts, which were donated. The contents included tomato seedlings, lettuce, basil, kale and eggplant. A shopping cart can hold about six plants, Hays said, and the plants were arranged in such a way that one didn’t cast too much shade on the others.

“We had such a tremendous community response last year and participants really enjoyed the program,” Hays said. “Many of them reported eating more fruits and vegetables by the end of summer. That kind of response and feedback is what helped us grow the project.”

This year the program is relocating to St. John’s Outreach in Lockport and the LaSalle library branch in Niagara Falls.

Six Falls families are planting their carts from 4 to 6 p.m. today. Ten Lockport families will plant theirs at noon Friday. All available slots for this year were filled, Hays said.

Mobile gardens can be grown in any container that holds dirt and drains water, according to Hays: A beverage container cut in half, a wagon, a storage tote, a basket, a cardboard box. Just cut a few holes in the bottom, line the container with landscaping fabric if necessary, pour in soil and plant away.

If it’s a large container, it’s best to move it before watering, Hays added.

“We learned that the hard way last year,” she said.

Eat Smart also will be offering free “cart clinics” this summer, which despite their name are open to people without garden carts, or any gardens at all for that matter. An Eat Smart nutritionist will be on hand to educate participants on recipes, nutrition and ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet, and a Master Gardener will teach gardening techniques.

“Adults can learn to prepare easy, healthy meals for themselves and develop a love for fruits and veggies,” said Marla Guarino, Eat Smart nutritionist. “Our participating families can share the experience of keeping a garden healthy, picking fresh food, and being excited to taste it together.”

Cart clinics will be held at St. John’s Outreach, Chestnut Street, at 11 a.m. June 16, June 23, June 30, July 7 and July 14.

Article source: http://www.lockportjournal.com/news/local_news/cart-gardens-will-be-planted-this-week/article_7909dbfa-499c-11e7-880f-43742331020a.html