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Archives for July 9, 2017

Garden Wise: Painting with Flowers – Twin Falls Times

Garden Wise is presented by the Magic Valley Master Gardener Association. We will try to answer questions of general interest submitted by the community. Please submit questions to

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Mass Hort celebrates 10th anniversary of Bressingham Garden

On Tuesday, July 25, Massachusetts Horticultural Society will host some of the most renowned horticulturists for a symposium and reception. The day has been organized in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Bressingham Garden of the Gardens at Elm Bank.

Editor’s Note: The following was submitted by Mass Hort.

On Tuesday, July 25, Massachusetts Horticultural Society will host some of the most renowned horticulturists for a symposium and reception. The day has been organized in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Bressingham Garden of the Gardens at Elm Bank.

The symposium will be kicked off by the designer of the Bressingham Garden, Adrian Bloom. Bloom is a gardener, author, nurseryman, and photographer who developed his own renowned Foggy Bottom garden more than 50 years ago. He has designed gardens in North America and Germany, authored several books, and has presented for BBC “Gardener’s World” and WGBH “Victory Garden.”

Bloom has been awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society and Roland White Medal by Mass Hort. He will share the story of how the Bressingham Garden came about and how inspirational gardens can be a catalyst for enthusing more gardeners to create and enjoy success in much smaller gardens.

Also speaking will be Michael Dirr, expert on woody plants, and author of “The Manual of Woody Landscape Plants.” Dirr will present on advances in ornamental plant breeding that can enrich our gardens. Award-winning garden designer, author and lecturer Kerry Ann Mendez will present on perennials that can be incorporated into your landscape design to both add impact and reduce maintenance. Hydrangea expert Mal Condon will focus on hydrangea varieties that can be used in your landscape and how they have been used with great impact in New England gardens.

Using the Bressingham Garden as a backdrop, attendees will gain an understanding of what and how to plant for the greatest impact. Additionally, Russell’s Garden Center will be on-site selling plants that are being featured throughout the day. Proceeds raised from the event, as well as a portion of plant sales, will support the Bressingham Garden and future projects.

The symposium will run from noon-5 p.m. Additionally, Mass Hort will host a reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. featuring the Hort Panel of Champions. Bring your plant questions to test 300-plus years of combined expertise of Adrian Bloom, Mal Condon, Michael Dirr, Wayne Mezitt, and Kerry Ann Mendez. We’ll also have an open mic session to hear memories of some of the 200 volunteers who helped install the garden, as well as wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres.

For more details, schedule and to register, please visit

Symposium hours are noon-5 p.m.

Reception Hours are 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Registration is $99 for the symposium, $25 for the reception, $119 for both.

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Meet the Key Players in Milan’s Vibrant Design Scene

Milan is reawakening,” says Derek Castiglioni over a Sunday lunch in early April. The city’s fashionable young garden designer is taking in the view from Ceresio 7, the rooftop restaurant of menswear label Dsquared2 and the latest Milan hot spot devised by several of the city’s leading design talents. His pals at Storage Associati masterminded the architecture, friends Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci of Dimore Studio created the decor, and Castiglioni handled the plantings. “This is a city that is constantly changing,” he continues. “And right now you can breathe the enthusiasm.”

“Milan has fertile soil for design,” says Barbara Ghidoni. “It’s a city that makes room for newness more naturally than others.”

New construction has changed the skyline. Generali Tower, one of Dame Zaha Hadid’s last works, twists to the heavens alongside Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei’s Allianz Tower, and Daniel Libeskind’s leaning tower (Milanese call it Il Curvo) is going up nearby. Tourists and natives alike flood into new museums, from Rem Koolhaas’s Fondazione Prada to David Chipperfield’s Museo delle Culture. Then there are the masses who have just arrived for Salone del Mobile, the sprawling furniture fair that this year drew thousands of attendees from165 countries to see the latest, the greatest, and the most head-spinning creations.

Clockwise from front left: Fanny Bauer Grung, Barbara Ghidoni, Michele Pasini, David Lopez Quincoces, Luca Cipelletti, and Marco Donati.

Massimiliano Locatelli.

The industrial backbone of numerous furniture manufacturers, Milan has always been a hotbed for design. It’s here that architect Gio Ponti conjured up the Superleggera chair for Cassina in 1957; that designer Ettore Sottsass and his crew introduced his radical Memphis home furnishings in 1981; and that Salone del Mobile has taken place since 1961. As Italy’s economy suffered through the early 2000s, though, the city’s aesthetic output felt the effects: Production slowed; the eyes of editors and collectors traveled elsewhere. But, jump-started by Expo 2015, the Italian design capital has experienced the beginnings of an economic upswing.

“Milan is going through a very good moment,” says Domenico Raimondo, a specialist in Italian design at Phillips auction house. “The social fabric of Italy had been impoverished at the deepest level, but finally it is blossoming back.”

JJ Martins line of maximalist plates produced by Bitossi Home, a historic Tuscan ceramics manufacturer.

JJ Martin’s line of maximalist plates produced by Bitossi Home, a historic Tuscan ceramics manufacturer.

Later that night, the feeling Castiglioni spoke of comes to life in a wisteria-covered courtyard off Piazza Arcole. Glitterati from near and far try on patterned frocks in J. J. Martin’s fizzy showroom, open to launch her new maximalist line of ceramic plates and table linens. Next door, irreverent designers Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari unveil God, a tongue-in-cheek furniture collection masterminded by cutting-edge curator Maria Cristina Didero (shown far left on next page). Across town on Via della Spiga, Nina Yashar—her Nilufar gallery is a cornerstone of Milan’s design movement—debuts lighting with London talent Michael Anastassiades. Along the cobbled streets of the Brera neighborhood, public installations are mounted, window displays artfully assembled, and riffs on Gaetano Pesce’s La Mamma chairs plopped right on the sidewalk.

From left: Maria Cristina Didero, Alberto Biagetti, Laura Baldassari, and Cristina Celestino.

As the design scene morphs and expands, so have ideas about how to present it: While the industrial design at Salone del Mobile remains consequential, it’s the Fuorisalone—the sprawl of public events surrounding the actual fair—that has everyone talking, in large part because many of today’s standout talents are choosing to represent their work in their own showrooms or galleries. Dimore Gallery annually reincarnates its Via Solferino location, mixing its latest furnishings with bold-faced works of design history. “Design has broadened its boundaries,” explains Dimore Studio’s Moran. “Everything that surrounds us has become synonymous with design.” The aristocratic mother-daughter duo Osanna and Madina Visconti di Modrone shows its handcrafted bronze furnishings and jewelry at a shimmering private atelier on Via Santa Marta. And what more breathtaking environment to experience Massimiliano Locatelli’s inventive furniture designs than the fresco-covered 16th-century church that houses his firm, CLS Architetti?

Galleries like Nilufar—whose sprawling Depot location has become a mecca for any design lover—have also allowed young designers to explore eye-catching limited-edition productions. Smaller-scale riffs on the concept are picking up across the city at new galleries, like the just-opened Six Gallery, where the designer couple David Lopez Quincoces and Fanny Bauer Grung of Quincoces-Dragò Partners will mix contemporary design collaborations (right now they’re working with the Viscontis) with vintage works from heavy hitters like Gabriella Crespi and Pierre Jeanneret. Even fashion brands like COS and Louis Vuitton have joined the conversation, partnering with members of the design community to create Instagram-worthy installations.

“Cities have ebbs and flows,” says Design Miami executive director Rodman Primack. “But there is something in the air right now in Milan. You come here and you walk away with ideas about what’s to come.”

Nina Yashar.

Madina (left) and Osanna (right) Visconti.

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East Main hosts gardening ‘challenge’ – The Chaffee County Times …

Buena Vista recently welcomed 11 new gardens along East Main Street. 

The gardens are a project of the town of Buena Vista Beautification Advisory Board, designed and installed by Bearss Landscaping with support from Buena Vista Public Works. 

Community funded

The East Main garden project was made possible by the funding of $10,000 from the town of Buena Vista; a $5,000 charitable donation by Vertex/Madison House Presents/AEG; and $100 each charitable donations from CKS, Buena Vista Veterinary Clinic, Central Colorado Kitchens, Doumas Team at RE/MAX MVP, Buena Vista Dental Care, Elizabeth A. Gobble, CPA; The Lettucehead Food Company, The Evergreen Cafe, The Buena Vista Roastery Cafe and The Chaffee County Times.

The gardens are more than just beautiful, they are also intended to be educational.  Watch for the plant labels and new signs coming soon.

Inhospitable E. Main?

Located next to the curbs at the three main intersections of East Main, the 11 gardens are placed in rather inhospitable locations for growing plants.  

The locations are hot, dry, windy, subject to invariable foot traffic, high-altitude short growing seasons and likely to become a meal to large and small meandering wildlife who will, on the right occasion, eat anything despite what the plant labels may say.

The gardens have to be tough, xeric and nibble-resistant.  It is a challenge to garden anywhere in Buena Vista, much less along East Main Street curbs.  

These curbside, xeric, deer- and rabbit-resistant, educational gardens include the plants that most meet these particular requirements. 

Local list is BV specific

Local experts have cultivated the list of ground covers, perennials and decorative grasses that stand the best chance of success in Buena Vista. 

The plants will be signed.  Buena Vista residents can see what is growing well, what they like the look of, and hopefully as a result, will be able to be more successful at their own landscaping efforts. 

A lot of people just don’t know where to start when it comes to landscaping in Buena Vista.

Many people want low-maintenance landscaping, they want to conserve water and replace plants less often. 

Once the signs are installed in the gardens, the signs will direct onlookers to a link on the town’s website with a complete list of plants used in the gardens and a list of shrubs and trees that are most suited to grow in Buena Vista. The list was created by the Buena Vista Tree Advisory Board.  

It’s xeric, not zero

There is a myth about xeric landscaping otherwise called xericscaping, that it is simply landscaping with rock so that no water is required.

The term for no-plant landscaping is actually called zeroscaping.  The two words sound similar but are very different.

Xericscaping is low-water landscaping. Curbside gardening is a concept that is being used in various communities to fill public spaces with plants that otherwise sit barren, such as the weed or gravel filled areas next to curbs. 

Those particular spaces require xeric, tough plants to survive. The Beautification Board and Public Works will be keeping a close eye on the new gardens until they become established. This summer the new plants will require extra water and care. 

Once the plants become established, they will require less water and care. 

Buena Vista Public Works cares for the town flowers and the new gardens. Questions and comments can be directed to the Beautification Advisory Board, contact information is on the town website

Duprey is a longtime member of the Buena Vista Beautification Advisory Board.

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Friends of Pickford Community Library to host biennial garden tour

The Friends of the Pickford Community Library are preparing for their biennial garden tour fundraiser.

The event is scheduled for July 15, with tickets on sale that day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at both The Cottage Flower and Gift Shop and the PAL Center in Pickford. According to a press release, the tour will end promptly at 3:30 p.m.

Pat Hunter, an organization board member, said the tour will include seven gardens, some featuring vegetables and others featuring flowers. She added that each has unique landscaping and one even has a fountain.

This will be the third time the Friends have held a biennial garden tour fundraiser. The gardens are a mixture of ones which were showcased two years ago and new ones for 2017.

“There are some new highlights,” Hunter said. “Come and visit some of your favorites.”

The press release highlights two particular gardens. It says Michelle Jarvie’s offers “a simple, relatively self-maintaining mix of perennials, annuals, vegetables, and other edibles.”

The release adds that Valarie Hill’s “serene backyard will invite you to linger and visit.”

Tickets which include lunch at either Big D’s Diner or the Main Street Cafe are $20. Tickets with no lunch included are available for $15. Tour participants will receive maps, lunch vouchers and other information when they buy their tickets.

Hunter said displays will be set up to remind participants what the Friends do to help the library. She noted the organization is responsible for much of the facility’s operation, including programming and purchasing books.

Hunter said it is always interesting to see how local gardeners configure their plants. She praised all of the gardeners on the tour, noting that people interested in horticulture — even in a small town — can produce amazing things.

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On Gardening: Landscaping with olive trees

Ever since I began organizing my garden in the five Mediterranean climate zones, some existing trees and shrubs were not in the correct areas. A particular concern has been a ninety-foot long section designated for plants from the Mediterranean basin area. This section, on the southwest border of the garden, has a long-standing row of Willow Leaf Cotoneasters (C. salicifolius), screening the adjacent property.

This Cotoneaster is a fine shrub that grows vigorously and produces long, looping branches from its base, and reaches about ten feet high. It is drought tolerant and trouble-free, and can be controlled annually by cutting up to a third of the larger branches at ground level.

In most respects, these shrubs are desirable elements of the landscape, but they spread over a large area and create a lot of shade. In addition, as natives of western China, they do not relate to the Mediterranean climate zones.

The plan is to replace these shrubs with several olive trees (Olea europaea), which are native to Crete and Syria, originally, and strongly associated with the Mediterranean basin area. They are evergreens, with gray-green leaves and an attractive natural form that is graceful and billowing.

Olive trees are most often grown for their fruits, which are the source of olive oil, a popular and healthy resource in the kitchen and on the dining table. Olive trees are widely grown commercially in California’s Central Valley. The Santa Cruz Olive Tree Nursery, in Watsonville, offers numerous varieties.

Olive trees are also attractive as ornamentals in the landscape. Home gardeners could grow and harvest olives for processing by olive-oil producers, but several dwarf, non-fruiting varieties are available and well suited for home gardens. Non-fruiting varieties are often preferred for landscape uses because fruit drop can stain pavements and generally can be messy.

The fruitless varieties can produce small quantities of fruits. Fruiting can be limited by pruning flowering/fruiting wood and by planting only one variety in the garden (different varieties are needed for cross-pollination).

Fruitless varieties of O. europaea include “Bonita,” “Little Ollie,” “Majestic Beauty,” “Montra,” “Skylark Dwarf”,” “Swan Hill” and “Wilson’s Fruitless.” Some of these varieties grow naturally as multi-branched shrubs, but can be pruned when young as single-trunked trees.

Dwarf, non-fruiting varieties could grow to fifteen feet high and ten feet wide, but their size and shape can be controlled through annual winter pruning. Depending on available garden space, a ten-foot high tree might be preferred, and would be sufficient for screening.

I will plant perhaps six olive trees in “mini-groves” to avoid a row along the fence line. This plan might require one or more large shrubs to reestablish the screen between my garden and the adjacent garden. For example, the existing landscape in that section already includes a Rockrose (Cistus x aguilari ‘Maculatus’), which is another native of the Mediterranean basin area, and an attractive, evergreen shrub.

This project will require significant work to cut down the Cotoneasters and grind out their roots. The optimal time for planting olive trees is early fall, to allow a young tree time to become established before the coldest time of the year, but in the Monterey Bay area, where cold is a not important consideration, olive could be planted at most times of the year. In any event, there is ample time for these preparations.

This process will have a dramatic impact, opening up the garden. Gardening can involve many small-scale tasks, but an occasional bold stroke can bring excitement and a significant new look to the landscape.

Tom Karwin is past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, president of the Monterey Bay Area Cactus Succulent Society, and a Lifetime UC Master Gardener (Certified 1999–2009). Visit for links to information on this subject, and send comments or questions to

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