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Archives for July 12, 2017

Master Gardener: Gardening tips for July

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

Article source: http://hanfordsentinel.com/features/master-gardener-gardening-tips-for-july/article_746d59f3-ebab-5e22-8490-b4724a814d1d.html

Tips for taking better photos of your garden and wildlife

So the garden you planted or enjoy each day is flowering. Birds and animals are busy in your yard or neighborhood. And you’d love to capture all this natural beauty in photos.

It’s so easy these days to pull out a phone and take pictures of anything anytime, but a little time and thought can produce better garden and wildlife photos.

“There’s a big difference between that for-the-record shot that preserves a memory and getting a really nice image,” says Brenda Tharp, author of the new book “Expressive Nature Photography” (The Monacelli Press).

Pause before pressing the shutter, she says, and consider: Is the light right? Can you give your photo a unique point of view by shooting from different angles and levels, moving to the side, crouching or standing on something?

Try to identify what it is about the subject matter that “stopped you in your tracks,” she says. “It’s really about narrowing down your purpose in making that picture.”

Some tips from Tharp and other nature photographers:


THE RULE OF THIRDS

Resist the temptation to center the subject, suggests Rob Simpson, an instructor in nature photography at Lord Fairfax College in Middletown, Virginia. Think of your photo as a tic-tac-toe board, and place the subject in one of the off-center thirds of the space. “It’s going to make the photo more pleasing to the eye,” he said. “It gives it balance.”


TEXTURE IS TERRIFIC

One of the most exciting things about photographing flowers and leaves is capturing something that passersby won’t see — their textures up-close, says Patty Hankins, a floral photographer in Bethesda, Maryland, who sells her work and offers photography tips at beautifulflowerpictures.com.

A camera’s “macro” setting lets you take an extreme close-up and keep it in focus. “It shows you all these incredible things that people who aren’t stopping to look won’t see,” she says. “It’s about filling the frame with small details.”


STAYING STILL

When using the macro setting, keep the camera as still as possible, Hankins says. “If you’re taking a picture of the Grand Canyon and your hand shakes a little, people aren’t likely to notice,” she said. “But if you’re taking a photo of the center of a sunflower, they’re much more likely to see it.”

A tripod can help. Look for one that is lightweight and can get low to ground, she says. If you don’t own a tripod, find somewhere solid to place the camera or set it on a bean bag or bag of rice on the ground, and use the timer to take the photo. Many cameras also have settings designed to reduce vibrations.


PRACTICE PERIMETER PATROL

Before you shoot, scan the edges of your picture for buildings, outdoor furniture or other things that could distract from your subject.


LIGHT MATTERS

Often, outdoor photos come out better on cloudy days or when the sun is not directly overhead, Simpson says. The soft light that comes through on an overcast day will not cast harsh shadows, and may result in a more even exposure and better details.

“People love sunlight, but it’s not the right light for every subject,” Tharp says. “For intimate views of nature, opt for soft or diffused light.”

For landscape photos, however, sunlight can add drama. Consider shooting in the warm light found in early morning or late afternoon when the angle of the sun is low.


THINK 3-D

Having items in a picture’s foreground and background helps put the viewer in the photo and creates a sense of depth, Tharp says. When taking a photo of a meadow or landscape, include objects closer to the camera as well.

Another way to create dimension is to angle the camera downward a bit, emphasizing the foreground and creating that near-far relationship.


ANIMAL ACTION

The best animal photos reveal the subject’s behavior or personality, Tharp says. Take time to observe the animals and wait for the best shot. But be ready to capture the action when it happens. Simpson recommends a fast shutter speed to avoid missing the shot.

Keep the animal’s eye in focus.


SHUTTER SELECTIONS AND APERTURES

Becoming a better photographer will mean understanding shutter speeds and apertures, Tharp said. The right shutter speed can mean the difference between freezing the motion of a moving animal or ending up with a blur. When photographing something in motion — an animal, bird or waterfall — give precedence to shutter speed over aperture, which is the amount of light being allowed into the lens.

If controlling the sharpness of the background is the goal, prioritize aperture, because it defines the depth of what will be in focus, she said.

“Experimenting with different apertures and shutter speeds on your subject will quickly show the various effects,” Tharp said.

 

Article source: http://www.therepublic.com/2017/07/12/us-gardening-great-photos/

‘Pretty Tough Plants’ offers gardening tips, ideas

Want to know more?

Find information on the High Desert Garden Tour at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/highdesertgardentour.

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Plant sales and garden tours are the social and educational events of the summer. For me, it started with a garden club plant sale in May. I had wonderful renewals with gardening friends I hadnt seen for some time. The high point of the educational aspect was I met a gardener from the Denver area who was new to Central Oregon gardening.

The woman was carrying a recently published book titled, Pretty Tough Plants. I had to find out more.

The title Pretty Tough Plants gives cause for much contemplation. Does it mean pretty as in roses and orchids or does it mean the plants were chosen for their stamina to develop to their fullest in tough climates? Was this just another coffee table picture book or did it have merit with advice and suggestions for growing annuals, perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses and trees in our climate? The answer was in the about the author section. Plant Select is a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and professional horticulturists whose goal is to find, test and distribute plants designed to thrive in the high plains and intermountain regions and anywhere the water resources are of concern.

During the 1990s, a movement in the Rocky Mountain area was spearheaded by Plant Select, promoting plants that thrive in climates that can fluctuate drastically from week to week or day to day. Sounds like Central Oregon, right?

The origin of many of the plants come from the harsher climates of Eurasia or the high mountains surrounding the Mediterranean and the high steppes of Asia proper: 135 resilient, water-smart choices are detailed along with beautiful photography.

New plants are brought to the attention of Plant Select through various paths. Some in nature, some are developments of breeders, some are discovered by nursery professionals and others are from collections at Denver Botanic Gardens.

The plants must meet a seven-point criteria. The seven points include thriving in a broad range of conditions, flourishing with less water, resilience in challenging climates, uniqueness, disease and insect resistance, long-lasting beauty and non-invasiveness. If a plant is chosen, it is grown at both the Denver Botanic Garden and at Colorado State University. A portion of the plants are allowed to go to seed and if seedlings and runners develop to an undesirable extent, the plant is removed.

The entire process from inception to release can take between 5 and 20 years. Since 1997, 140 regular selections and 12 petites (smaller plants that have not yet been readily available to gardeners) have been featured through 2016.

With each page I turn it is a yes, and another YES. This is the guidance I need. The book, well worth its purchase, is a celebration of the programs 20th anniversary.

A lovely tour

One of the highlights of the summer is the High Desert Garden Tour scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22. The event is a self-guided tour of seven gardens in Bend. Tickets are $10.

I couldnt help but chuckle as I read through the list of garden locations. Advertising jargon ran through my head: Park once, enjoy twice two gardens on the same block or The year of the two-fers: two gardens within walking distance of each other. Maybe this could become a yearly happening of neighbors like the neighborhood garage sale, only more soothing to the soul.

The gardens are a wonderful mix of going from a blank slate of dirt to revamping old and tired landscapes with ideas that many of us will be able to adapt to our own properties. Gardens are a work in progress, as you will read in the guidebook. Theres always a new idea, an expansion or lesson to learn about dealing with more shade as those once cute little trees or shrubs grow bigger.

Who would have thought you would have an opportunity to enjoy an aviary, home to seven cockatiels at one of the properties. Im anxious to walk through a garden inspired by world travels and plantings that pay homage to the gardens of their ancestors. Those gardeners interested in greenhouses would be curious about the 10-by-20-foot greenhouse built from recycled materials and the added cold frames on the south side of the greenhouse.

Have more than your fair share of rocks? Join the tour and be inspired with what others have done with the areas natural beauty.

Every garden has a story. Maybe some of the stories will inspire new ideas.

Reporter: douville@bendbroadband.com

–><!– valuehere:

Plant sales and garden tours are the social and educational events of the summer. For me, it started with a garden club plant sale in May. I had wonderful renewals with gardening friends I hadnt seen for some time. The high point of the educational aspect was I met a gardener from the Denver area who was new to Central Oregon gardening. –><!– valuehere:

The woman was carrying a recently published book titled, Pretty Tough Plants. I had to find out more. –><!– valuehere:

The title Pretty Tough Plants gives cause for much contemplation. Does it mean pretty as in roses and orchids or does it mean the plants were chosen for their stamina to develop to their fullest in tough climates? Was this just another coffee table picture book or did it have merit with advice and suggestions for growing annuals, perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses and trees in our climate? The answer was in the about the author section. Plant Select is a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and professional horticulturists whose goal is to find, test and distribute plants designed to thrive in the high plains and intermountain regions and anywhere the water resources are of concern. –>
<!– Lead Test:

Plant sales and garden tours are the social and educational events of the summer. For me, it started with a garden club plant sale in May. I had wonderful renewals with gardening friends I hadnt seen for some time. The high point of the educational aspect was I met a gardener from the Denver area who was new to Central Oregon gardening.

The woman was carrying a recently published book titled, Pretty Tough Plants. I had to find out more.

–>

Plant sales and garden tours are the social and educational events of the summer. For me, it started with a garden club plant sale in May. I had wonderful renewals with gardening friends I hadn’t seen for some time. The high point of the educational aspect was I met a gardener from the Denver area who was new to Central Oregon gardening.

The woman was carrying a recently published book titled, “Pretty Tough Plants.” I had to find out more.

Want to know more?

Find information on the High Desert Garden Tour at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/highdesertgardentour.

View More

The title “Pretty Tough Plants” gives cause for much contemplation. Does it mean “pretty” as in roses and orchids or does it mean the plants were chosen for their stamina to develop to their fullest in tough climates? Was this just another coffee table picture book or did it have merit with advice and suggestions for growing annuals, perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses and trees in our climate? The answer was in the about the author section. “Plant Select is a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and professional horticulturists whose goal is to find, test and distribute plants designed to thrive in the high plains and intermountain regions and anywhere the water resources are of concern.”

During the 1990s, a movement in the Rocky Mountain area was spearheaded by Plant Select, promoting plants that thrive in climates that can fluctuate drastically from week to week or day to day. Sounds like Central Oregon, right?

The origin of many of the plants come from the harsher climates of Eurasia or the high mountains surrounding the Mediterranean and the high steppes of Asia proper: 135 resilient, water-smart choices are detailed along with beautiful photography.

New plants are brought to the attention of Plant Select through various paths. Some in nature, some are developments of breeders, some are discovered by nursery professionals and others are from collections at Denver Botanic Gardens.

The plants must meet a seven-point criteria. The seven points include thriving in a broad range of conditions, flourishing with less water, resilience in challenging climates, uniqueness, disease and insect resistance, long-lasting beauty and non-invasiveness. If a plant is chosen, it is grown at both the Denver Botanic Garden and at Colorado State University. A portion of the plants are allowed to go to seed and if seedlings and runners develop to an undesirable extent, the plant is removed.

The entire process from inception to release can take between 5 and 20 years. Since 1997, 140 regular selections and 12 petites (smaller plants that have not yet been readily available to gardeners) have been featured through 2016.

With each page I turn it is a “yes,” and another “YES.” This is the guidance I need. The book, well worth its purchase, is a celebration of the program’s 20th anniversary.

A lovely tour

One of the highlights of the summer is the High Desert Garden Tour scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22. The event is a self-guided tour of seven gardens in Bend. Tickets are $10.

I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read through the list of garden locations. Advertising jargon ran through my head: “Park once, enjoy twice — two gardens on the same block” or “The year of the two-fers: two gardens within walking distance of each other.” Maybe this could become a yearly happening of neighbors — like the neighborhood garage sale, only more soothing to the soul.

The gardens are a wonderful mix of going from a blank slate of dirt to revamping old and tired landscapes with ideas that many of us will be able to adapt to our own properties. Gardens are a work in progress, as you will read in the guidebook. There’s always a new idea, an expansion or lesson to learn about dealing with more shade as those once cute little trees or shrubs grow bigger.

Who would have thought you would have an opportunity to enjoy an aviary, home to seven cockatiels at one of the properties. I’m anxious to walk through a garden inspired by world travels and plantings that pay homage to the gardens of their ancestors. Those gardeners interested in greenhouses would be curious about the 10-by-20-foot greenhouse built from recycled materials and the added cold frames on the south side of the greenhouse.

Have more than your fair share of rocks? Join the tour and be inspired with what others have done with the area’s natural beauty.

Every garden has a story. Maybe some of the stories will inspire new ideas.

— Reporter: douville@bendbroadband.com

Article source: http://www.bendbulletin.com/lifestyle/5430157-151/pretty-tough-plants-offers-gardening-tips-ideas

5 garden tips for this week (July 1-7) – San Gabriel Valley Tribune



Show of support

Prop up fruit-laden tree branches so the weight doesn’t break the branches. Use a Y-shaped, padded support to reduce damage from rubbing during breezes. A pruned-off tree branch with a forked branch or an old rake make perfect supports, especially when cushioned with a clean rag or even an old glove. Angle the support into the soil so the branch is free to move when breezes blow. Destroy fallen fruit to decrease insect and disease problems.

Go early or late

As the temperature rises, irrigate your garden and landscape in the evening or early in the morning, but not in the middle of the day. Allow water to run long enough to soak in deeply, then turn it off. Plants use the most water, not only when temperatures are high, but also whenever a breeze blows, or during flowering, or as fruit is developing. Containerized plants usually need more frequent watering than those in the ground.

Harvest time

In spite of summer heat, harvest your garden vegetables every day or two, preferably in the morning or evening. Store them in the refrigerator if you can’t use them right away. Mature vegetables that remain on the plant produce a plant hormone that prevents them from blossoming, reducing your chances for additional harvests. By harvesting ripe produce regularly, your plants will keep blooming and setting crops — especially your cucumbers, beans, eggplants, squashes and tomatoes.

Here’s a grape idea

Grape vines seem to keep going with relatively little water, but to get good quality fruit be sure to water them about once a week, long enough so the water sinks into the soil. And if birds tend to eat your ripening grapes before you get to them, try this: put a paper bag (not plastic) around each grape cluster. Staple the bag together around the top of the stem. The grapes will sweeten and ripen properly for you, not for the birds. You’ll just need to peek in periodically to see exactly when they are ripe — unless you want raisins in the fall. Or, if you have plenty, leave a cluster or two uncovered to see when they ripen. And to protect your tree fruits from birds, cover the trees with bird netting, or attach brightly colored streamers to the stems to frighten the birds away.

Cutting back

When boysenberries, blackberries and olallieberries finish bearing, cut back the spent fruiting canes all the way to the ground, sparing only the vigorous shoots that did not bear fruit this season. Feed with a balanced plant food and continue regular watering. Vigorous new canes will emerge and provide the scaffolding for a bountiful crop next year — and you won’t have to prune and separate them this winter. Just train them out horizontally for optimum yield next year.

Article source: http://www.sgvtribune.com/lifestyle/20170702/5-garden-tips-for-this-week-july-1-7

Tips for taking better photos of your garden and wildlife – Glens Falls Post

In this July 11, 2017 photo, the texture of this small cactus growing in a garden in Dallas, Texas, can be seen at close range. When taking photos in your garden, of your landscaping or in the natural world, elements like shutter speed, light, composition and lens choice can all work together to help capture all the natural beauty you observe with your eye. (AP Photo/Benny Snyder)

Article source: http://poststar.com/lifestyles/tips-for-taking-better-photos-of-your-garden-and-wildlife/article_318dd586-a331-5cbb-a08e-f99926574831.html

Garden tips for July

There are a number of tips for your garden and yard here in the summer.

Vegetable Garden

• Make fall vegetable garden plantings in late July. Fact Sheet HLA-6009 gives planting

recommendations.

Lawn

• Brown patch disease of cool-season grasses can be a problem. (HLA-6420).

• Meet water requirements of turfgrasses. (HLA-6420).

• Fertilization of warm-season grasses can continue if water is present for growth. (HLA-6420).

• Vegetative establishment of warm-season grasses should be completed by the end of July to

ensure the least risk of winter kill. (HLA-6419).

• Mowing heights for cool-season turfgrasses should be at 3 inches during hot, dry summer

months. Gradually raise mowing height of bermudagrass lawns from 1 to 2 inches.

• Sharpen or replace mower blades as needed. Shredded leaf blades are an invitation to disease

and allow more stress on the grass.

Tree and Shrub

• Control bermudagrass around trees and shrubs with products containing sethoxydim,

fusillade or glyphosate herbicides. Follow directions closely to avoid harming desirable

plants.

Fruits

• Continue insect combat and control in the orchard, garden, and landscape. (EPP-7306,

EPP-7313, EPP-7319).

• Check pesticide labels for “stop” spraying recommendations prior to harvest.

• Harvest fruit from the orchard early in the morning and refrigerate as soon as possible.

Flowers

• Divide and replant crowded Hybrid iris (Bearded Iris) after flowering until August.

General Landscape

• Water plants deeply and early in the morning. Most plants need approximately 1 to 2ó inches

of water per week.

• Providing birdbaths, shelter and food will help turn your landscape into a backyard wildlife

habitat.

• Insect identification is important so you don’t get rid of the “Good Guys.” (EPP-7307).

• The hotter and drier it gets, the larger the spider mite populations!

• Expect some leaf fall, a normal reaction to drought. Water young plantings well.

Fact sheets referenced in this article can be accessed via the web at www.oces.okstate.edu/garvin

– click “Fact Sheets.”

They are also available at the Garvin County Extension Service, 201 W. Grant, Room 7, Garvin County Courthouse, Pauls Valley.

Article source: http://www.paulsvalleydailydemocrat.com/community/garden-tips-for-july/article_e5fd2c51-019e-581a-bde6-0284d328f42c.html

6 Pretty Planters for Summer

Potting up a few plants is one of the easiest ways to give your garden, porch or patio a boost for summer. Take a look at these summer container gardens that range from classic, like potted lavender, bacopa and other colorful perennials, to surprising, like super sweet dwarf raspberries that thrive in containers.


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Glenna Partridge Garden Design, original photo on Houzz


1. Cottage perennial. Flanking a doorway, a pair of summer containers brightens the entrance of this backyard cottage in Vancouver, Washington. To get a similar cottage-perennial look, use strappy New Zealand flax (Phormium spp.) to anchor the container, and tuck in colorful perennials, summer-flowering bulbs and trailing plants to soften the sides of the pot. The designer of these containers used pink dwarf dahlias, purple heliotrope, pale lavender million bells (Calibrachoa sp.) and, to spill over the sides, golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, USDA zones 3 to 9).

Water requirement: Moderate

Light requirement: Full sun


+5 

Pot Incorporated, original photo on Houzz


2. Magenta beauty. Go bold with a high-contrast container with dark purple, magenta and zingy chartreuse plants. The designer of this container mixed pink-flowering, purple-leaved begonia with feathery papyrus, berry-colored million bells (Calibrachoa sp.) and two types of sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas, zones 9 to 11), dark purple and bright lime. This container display would be well-suited for a partially shady location, such as nestled in a bed in dappled shade or under a covered patio.

Water requirement: Moderate

Light requirement: Partial sun or light shade


+5 

Fall Creek Farm Nursery, Inc., original photo on Houzz


3. Raspberry delight. Raspberries and other prickly shrubs are usually tucked out of sight in the back garden. That’s not the case for this darling little hybrid called Raspberry Shortcake, which looks sweet as can be potted on the patio. This dwarf hybrid (from the Bushel and Berry collection, formerly Brazel Berries) thrives in a large container, growing to be only 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, and is also thornless. Plant in spring or early summer to enjoy sweet, large red berries by midsummer.

Water requirement: Regular; keep the soil consistently moist leading up to and throughout summer fruiting season

Light requirement: Full sun


+5 

Hampstead Garden Design, original photo on Houzz


4. Pollinator-friendly. Even if you’re short on gardening space, a couple of containers on a rooftop or city patio can help support native bees, pollinating birds, butterflies and other insects. This roof terrace in Marylebone, London, is bordered with containers filled with bee favorites like lavender and purple-flowering sage (Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, zones 4 to 8) as well as olive trees and standard and horned violet (Viola cornuta, zones 6 to 11) to round out the design.

Other pollinator-friendly plants to consider that grow well in containers: bee balm (Monarda spp.), honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), catmint (Nepeta spp.), ‘Autumn Joy’ stonecrop (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, zones 3 to 10) and many varieties of herbs, like oregano, chives and thyme.

Related: Invest in a Backyard Bird Bath

Water requirement: Moderate

Light requirement: Full sun


+5 

Sublime Garden Design, LLC, original photo on Houzz


Related: Give Your Garden Character With Yard Art and Statues

5. Four-season interest. This clever combination of plants can easily transition from one season to the next without your having to fully dismantle and repot the display.

At the back of the container, the toothy-leaved holly osmanthus (Osmanthus heterophyllus, zones 7 to 9) and clump of chartreuse coral bells (Heuchera sp.), now blooming pale pink, most likely remain in the container year-round to provide foliage interest.

In spring, the addition of a pink bedding hydrangea and trailing white bacopa will add color throughout summer (as pictured here). Come late summer, you could swap the hydrangea and bacopa for a rudbeckia and ornamental grass, leaving the osmanthus and heuchera in place, to transition easily to fall. In winter, replace the rudbeckia and ornamental grass with heather (Erica spp.) for interest through the holidays.

Water requirement: Moderate

Light requirement: Full sun to partial sun


+5 

Le jardinet, original photo on Houzz


6. Lemon sorbet. This frothy summer composition looks as fresh and zesty as a lemon daiquiri. To create the effect, the designer paired a number of finely textured flowers and bright, lacy foliage, including white-flowering ‘Diamond Frost’ euphorbia (Euphorbia hybrid, zones 10 to 11), white Angelface snapdragon (Angelonia angustifolia hybrid, zones 10 to 11), yellow-flowering Luscious ‘Tropical Fruit’ lantana (Lantana camara ‘Tropical Fruit’, zones 10 to 11) and trailing lime-colored Illusion Emerald Lace sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas, zones 9 to 11).

Water requirement: Moderate

Light requirement: Full sun to partial sun

Article source: http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/pretty-planters-for-summer/article_17107b18-6358-11e7-9e73-8f9f3bc8f87d.html

Inspire an outdoor transformation

Consider your deck or patio: the epicenter of outdoor entertaining, relaxation, and leisure. It’s where we host family and friends for cookouts, escape with a book under the shade of a sprawling patio umbrella, and bask in wonder of a starry summer sky. As a warm-weather gathering place, your outdoor space should feel like a tranquil respite, however sometimes it can feel more like a project. To help you transform your deck or patio into a functional, relaxing space, local experts share the latest industry trends and their tips for sprucing up the space.

 Create Tiered Entertaining Spaces

Many traditional decks and patios are designed in a rectangular format — either a concrete slab or raised wooden platform — arranged in a way that allows one to see the entire space from any angle. That said, according to Barte Shadlow, a Landscape Architect in Allentown, one trend in outdoor living is to create tiered entertaining spaces in the deck versus one flat, open space. With the popularity of the recent trend of “outdoor living” — ie. making your backyard an extension of the home with outdoor kitchens, outdoor “living rooms,” and patio furniture that mirrors indoor furniture, etc. — it makes sense that homeowners would want their backyard spaces to follow suit. “The beauty of this is that you can move into two or three different spaces,” Shadlow explains, “one level might have built-in planters, the next a large dining area, then you go down a step and there’s intimate seating that’s feels cut off from the rest of the space for more private conversation.”

For homeowners with patios instead of decks, Tara Lopez, Treasurer of RL Landscape and Design in Zionsville, says that tiered patios are very popular at the moment. “A lot of our clients don’t have flat lawns, so it works for them” Lopez says, “instead of one big area, they have different tiers — a fire pit in one area, a bar area, and then a separate seating space.” For those without a natural slope to their yard, tiers can be cut into the space, according to Lopez. For decks, “the difference in levels can just be one step,” according to Shadlow, “people like the idea of sense of mystery and the sense of ‘what goes on in that corner?’”

City of Charleston designers seek input to design public space along Low Battery seawall

Charleston city designers are asking residents to provide input to craft a public space along the Low Battery seawall. 

As the city prepares to replace the Low Battery with a higher, sturdier wall, the Design Division sees the space as a potential linear park.

The Low Battery overlooks Charleston Harbor and runs from White Point Garden to the U.S. Coast Guard station. 



Download PDF

“This is a critical project for our city’s future,” said Planning Director Jacob Lindsey in a statement. “That’s why we’re working so hard to ensure that our citizens have as many opportunities as possible to examine alternatives and provide meaningful feedback during this early stage of the process.”

The city is proposing four designs for the Low Battery that are available online and in a report by the Design Division. 

One strategy that calls for minimum improvements would improve the walkway, align crosswalks to the waterfront with paths through White Point Garden, and bring the park closer to the water’s edge. 

Another plan would remove parking to widen and raise the walkway on the water. 

The third proposes widening the walkway to create a waterfront park that runs parallel to the roadway.

The last option would create a full waterfront park by closing Murray Boulevard between King Street and East Battery and returning the garden to its historic condition. 

Article source: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/city-of-charleston-designers-seek-input-to-design-public-space/article_83a6bc4a-6661-11e7-83fd-1f53f0fd8ae5.html

9 ideas to make your own debt-free summer fun – WREX.com … – WREX

By Andrew Housser

When summer heats up, spending doesn’t have to. Avoid piling up new bills and debt this summer with these nine suggestions for frugal fun.

Pack a picnic. July is National Picnic Month. Look for free local events where you can take your picnic lunch or dinner. Enjoy an outdoor concert in a city park, head to a local lake to watch paddleboarders, or take a hike. Wherever you go, you can make memories and save money at the same time.

Plan meals ahead of time. Planning can help you eat simple, fresh and nutritious meals during the summer – and prevent you from grabbing pizza or burgers too often. Avoid bursting your budget with restaurant dining by planning meals a week at a time. Post menus on a kitchen bulletin board to remind everyone of the plan. Take into account travel, kids’ summer camps and hungry snackers. When in the car, take snacks or sandwiches to avoid being caught off guard.

Take a road trip. Seek out free fun – from a parade or concert to a dog show or rodeo – in a nearby community. On a longer trip, consider camping, which costs less than $40 a night at most campgrounds. If you do not own camping gear, look into renting. You also can borrow from friends or family, or via a sharing app such as Fluid.

Borrow tools instead of buying. Borrowing is not limited to camping gear. Think twice before buying a tool you need for a summer home-improvement or landscaping project. Instead, ask neighbors or relatives if they what you need. Maybe you can trade your skills or labor – from weeding to pet sitting – to cover the value of the trade. If borrowing doesn’t work, consider renting the tool from a local home-improvement store.

Bring back childhood’s simple pleasures. You know how much fun kids have riding bikes with friends, making popsicles or hanging out at the pool. Think of some of your favorite childhood pastimes – whether playing strategy games, having a water fight with the hose, or hitting the library for a new book – and try them out again with your children, a group of friends or family.

Save on air conditioning. Some utility companies offer a discount on electric bills if you allow them to turn down your air conditioning during peak times. If you live in a climate that cools down at night, consider installing an attic fan to bring in that cooler night air. Then close things up in the morning. Planting shade trees will eventually keep your home cooler, too.

Switch off your gas mower. If you are in the market for a new lawn mower, put down the gas can. Could a push (or reel) mower work for you? These machines are inexpensive, have zero fuel cost and provide some exercise, too. If you need more power, rechargeable electric mowers minimize refueling expenses.

Organize a yard sale. ’Tis the season to clean out closets, garages and spare rooms. Turn the things you do not need into cash. Choose a date, list the sale online and get ready to sell. Consider organizing a block sale with neighbors to draw in more customers. Use the money you make to pay off debt or add to your emergency fund.

Measure DIY costs versus paying a pro. If you have any spare time, try doing some home-improvement and maintenance projects yourself. For instance, painting one room might cost about $100 for paint and all the supplies you need. Paying a professional to paint it for you could cost $500 or more. Roll up your sleeves and you may be surprised at how much you can save.

Make the most of the summer season by leaving your wallet at home while you enjoy carefree (and cost-free) good times.

Andrew Housser is a co-founder and CEO of Bills.com, a free one-stop online portal where consumers can educate themselves about personal finance issues and compare financial products and services. He also is co-CEO of Freedom Financial Network, LLC providing comprehensive consumer credit advocacy and debt relief services. Housser holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University and Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College.

Article source: http://www.wrex.com/story/35803457/9-ideas-to-make-your-own-debt-free-summer-fun