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Archives for July 13, 2017

Gardening In The Summer Broiler

The summer heat is upon us. And this summer, Nevada has seen record high temperatures. How is your garden faring through the brutal summer heat?

Nevada Public Radio’s own Angela O’Callaghan and Norm Schilling, co-hosts of “Desert Bloom,” a regular feature on KNPR, bring their wit and wisdom to State of Nevada to answer all questions related to gardening in Nevada.

Discussion Highlights:

Penny from Ridgecrest, Calif., had two questions: How should she get rid of grasshoppers and why are the tips of the leaves of plants in her garden turning brown?

Angela: Usually, when you see those brown tips what happened was when that leaf was first starting to develop there was a little water shortage. Not enough that the plant was going to die, but it didn’t give the developing leaves quite enough water to develop good cells. As the plant got older, it was able to access better watering and it’s able to continue to grow.

Norm: The other thing it could be is salt damage. Salt can build up in our soils. The plants take it up and when the water transpires out the leaf it’s at the very tip of the leaf and it will cause a little die back of tissue. So leaching works. Once or twice a year give your garden a really good, deep soak. And a good time to do that is actually right before a rain. Then the rain comes in and flushes out any other salts that are in our water.  

And Grasshoppers?

Angela: Have you considered getting a lizard?

Norm: Yeah. Just do everything you can to have predators in your garden. 

Kenny from Cross Timbers he planted several spruce, fir and pine trees this spring but many of them have died.

Norm: The problem with planting in the spring is the plant has a limited time to establish its root system. Generally speaking, in hotter climates, you’re better off planting in the fall, September, October, November. That gives the plants a chance to put its roots out into the surrounding soil.

Also, make sure that your well is large enough, the reservoir you build around the tree that you fill up that it’s going to get water around in the surrounding soil as well. 

Sarah from Ridgecrest, Calif., say the young plants in her garden are suffering and they’re not putting out much growth.

Norm:  This has been a rough summer. Right off the bat, we hit 115 in early June. I don’t think that’s ever happened before and it’s been unrelenting since then. Plants are struggling more this year and we’re only mid-July. The other night it was 10 or 11 o’clock at night and the temperature was 102 or something. These nighttime temperatures are so high that the plants are not getting a break that I think they really want.

What you can do is try to limit the heat load on your plants. Things to help that would be 1) organic mulch. It reflects less heat than rock and absorbs less heat. 2) You can put a shade cloth over a plant to help it through the summer – especially its first summer. 

Jane from Las Vegas has a newly mandarin orange tree that is on a drip system and she soaks it once a week; however, it seems that the fruit has stopped growing:

Mandarin orange tree/Wikimedia Commons

Norm: The first summer here is always the toughest one. You’ve just got to get it through this first summer. You should be watering it every day. Make sure that you’re not only water the original root ball but you getting water out beyond it. There should be an emitter on the root ball that it came in but there should also be additional emitters out around it. Misting a plant off in the afternoon gives it a little break. You don’t have to do it every day, but if you’re out there and the house is handy just make sure you don’t spray hot water on it.

Angela: Fruits is a really intensive thing for a plant because all of its resources are going to get directed to the fruit and if it doesn’t have any resources because the temperatures are ridiculous. It’s going to be a challenge.

Fruit trees take up a lot of water so are they a good idea in the Southwest where water is so scarce?

Angela: Our fruit, even though fruit trees do take some extra water, I believe that the fruit that we grow here in our home yards is about the best testing fruit I’ve ever had – with the exception of apples, apple snob from New York ya know.  While they seem to be water expensive, they’re not so terribly water expensive.  

Is it better because you’ve grown it yourself?

Angela: No! No! It’s our soils. Our terribly problematic soils.  

Norm: The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ We do have limited water resources and we need to be really thoughtful about it. I’m big a fan of desert landscapes, but if you want to grow a rose through in a dwarf peach tree next to it… so you can choose a portion of your yard.

Peach tree/wikimedia commons

Brent from Las Vegas has ash trees that are starting to lose leaves and branches:

Norm: We’ve been planting ash trees a lot in this valley since the 70s and especially the 80s the ashes came in vogue. What I found is that a lot of ash trees live in lawns – 15, 20, 25 years  – but they ultimately don’t like here.

And they tend to succumb to a disease called sooty canker in which individual branches die off. If you look really closely, you’ve got to search around for it. If you do have sooty canker the bark which is quite thin on ash trees on young wood flakes off and underneath it, you’ll see a blackened area… if you were to touch that it comes off on your finger like you’re touching the inside of a fireplace. It is a terminal, incurable disease.

You can prune the dead out carefully. Dispose of it carefully because it is a fungal disease and can easily spread. But ultimately, I don’t think ash trees are particularly well suited for life in Southern Nevada. 

University of California Cooperative Extention/Sutter-Yuba Counties/ Photo by Janine Hasey

It seems like the African sumac in my backyard is dying:

Norm: African sumacs are semi-summer deciduous. They deal with heat and drought by dropping leaves. Mine has very few leaves but it was last watered in June of last year and it’s okay. These are desert trees. 

We tend to overwater our desert trees – period. What happens is desert trees are water junkies. They think that they’re living in nirvana. In their history, water is their most limiting resource and when its available they use it.

Fast growing trees are weak wooded trees. Live fast, die young applies to trees just like it does to people.

African sumacs are susceptible to a disease called fusarium wilt. It can be transmitted through dirty pruning equipment. Clean your equipment. Sterilize it. Especially if you have somebody come prune your trees, the first thing they do sterilize their equipment before they start pruning.

Finally, if you’re watering these desert trees – these African sumacs – every day I think it creates a condition in the soil for organisms that that African sumac is not normally susceptible in its normal, dry climate, including possibly fusarium wilt. Don’t water your desert trees so much. 

Donna from Las Vegas is concerned because of her plants are stressed because of the heat. I hear you’re not supposed to fertilize plants when they’re under stress. So, should I fertilize at this time?

Angela: No!

Norm: No! Spring and fall only. You don’t want to do it when it’s real hot. You don’t want to do it when it’s cold. 

Skeeter from Overton wanted to know if there is a life span for house plants:

Norm: I don’t consider house plants my area of expertise, but here is what I’ve discovered: More than anything else they die from over watering. Secondly, I don’t think I’ve ever had one die of old age. Maybe that’s because I’ve killed them off before they got there, but most of them seem to be very long lived species.

Angela: The other thing about house plants is you water them and then they dry and you over water and they’re sitting in water. You don’t want a bunch of water sitting in that saucer for more than a couple of hours, except for maybe African violets.

Jeremy from Las Vegas has a garden filled with a variety of squash, tomato and pepper and they’re all doing well. He wanted to know if he should cut them back?

Angela: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve already had to cut down my tomatoes and hope they come back in September. But I was getting a lot of sunscald. If you’re not getting sunscald, if the tomatoes are still producing and they look good, they’re ripening fine – just keep going. 

Sunscald/Wikimedia Commons

My tomato plants are producing but they’re not turning red:

Angela: That’s the heat. A lot of times if the heat is too much the compounds, the proteins that produce the red coloring. It’s not that the red coloring is dying. The compounds that produce it are not able to tolerate the heat. With tomatoes over 90 degrees, they’re pretty much unable to turn red.

However, that’s when you take them off the plant take them inside and put them on the window sill and say – okay now ripen.

John from Pahrump had an apricot tree that gave them a lot of apricots over the past 10 years, but it has died back.

Norm: What can happen with these trees is they can outgrow their wetting pattern. The more leaves you have the water you need to support those leaves. One of the most common things, when trees have done well then go into decline, is because they’ve outgrown their wetting pattern.

You want to keep the soils fairly moist, keep a wide wetting pattern, use organic mulch and hope for the best. Ultimately, most members of the prunus genus don’t have a lifespan much longer than 20 years anyway.   

Dick from Las Vegas has problems with insects on his mimosa tree:

Norm: Arborists call mimosas bore bait. You plant a mimosa you’re asking for bores. They’ll come usually five or 10 years after planting. Individual limbs start dying and they’re bores. I won’t treat for bores in flowering trees because the chemical we used to use is a neonicotinoid. It gets taken in by the plant, gets translocated into the flowers and nicotinoids are suspected in bee decline I don’t want to be part of that.

I like mimosas. They’re beautiful trees but I don’t want to grow them just because they’re hard to keep alive here. 

Joy from Las Vegas has a North American saguaro amongst a lot of cacti and it gets water every three weeks on a slow deep soak. Normally, they notice growth on it in June, but this year they’ve not noticed anything:

Norm: They’re pretty drought tolerant. You know what, it’s because this summer is just awful. I don’t know why else.

Angela: You know because the temperatures spiked. There wasn’t anything remotely close to a gradual rise. Most of the plants are going into some kind of shock. 

David wants to know the best time to cut back oleanders:

Norm: Do it in the winter.

Angela: You don’t want to do it when the sap is flowing. 



University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Clark County

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Horticulture Program

Master Gardeners

Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

High Country Gardens

International Society of Arboriculture

From Nevada Public Radio: Desert Bloom

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Incline Village’s Demonstration Garden offers weekly classes, pertinent North Lake Tahoe gardening and landscaping …

Nestled among the trees in Incline Village is the North Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden, a magical, natural escape where plants and pollinators native to the region thrive.

The garden’s concept was established in 1991, and after much planning, donations, volunteer time and labor; it opened to the public in 1998.

A common misconception of the Demonstration Garden is that it is affiliated with Sierra Nevada College.

The college was gracious in providing the land and water needed to sustain the garden. Since 1998, all labor and maintenance has been carried out by volunteers, whose vast gardening and landscaping knowledge is surpassed only by the size of their hearts.

“I love the challenge of working with nature and seeing what happens without pushing my control. I love planting plants that I enjoy, but that will work in harmony with nature,” said board member and newsletter coordinator, Janet Steinmann.

The Demonstration Garden is just that — an educational resource for the community to learn and develop best practices for lake-friendly landscaping, conservation planning, and learning which species are especially successful in region’s climate.

“Each demonstration shows gardeners and landscapers what works here; the best plants to grow for food or for landscaping. People still do it here, even though it’s such a short season and we want them to be successful; it has to be beautiful,” Steinmann said.

In addition to teaching people how to curate the perfect growing environment for their favorite ornamental and food plants, the master volunteer gardeners host all kinds of classes to benefit local homeowners.

Are you aware of how to properly lay a driveway with the right materials and drainage system? Would you love to have your own butterfly, bird and bee garden but aren’t quite sure which native plants they love the most? Are you looking to grow the lowest maintenance grass possible with the least amount of chemical runoff?

The North Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden can answer these questions and so many more.

They specialize in practical landscaping that yields a gorgeous result.

“We do not encourage lawns simply because they require a lot of maintenance,” Steinmann said. “We teach instead about cover crops which add nitrogen to the soil and it stays there. We don’t like fertilizers because they act like a drug to the plants — they will make your plants look beautiful at first, but then you need to keep adding more to keep them looking good. You actually aren’t adding nutrients to the soil, you’re depleting the soil of its nutrients,” she said.

The garden and landscape experts guide locals on how to stabilize slopes in your yard’s terrain, even how to create a spiral herb garden like the one they’re growing, featuring thyme, oregano, and sage.

The food plants growing at the Demonstration Garden include rhubarb, salad greens, tomatoes, strawberries, onion, potato, and asparagus — all of which they can teach you to grow at home.

Heather Hall is another core member of the Demonstration Garden’s volunteer team. Hall, who has been with the team for the past seven years, works as their secretary and runs social media.

“I moved here from the Bay Area and missed gardening. I met Marg (Margaret Solomon) and she got me involved in the garden, it really is such a nice resource for the community to have,” she said.

Solomon, who brought Hall into the group, says she is always welcoming new members to join in on their fun.

“We are run 100 percent by members and donations and love getting new volunteers. So, get involved, come out and help,” she said.

The North Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden hosts several events, the next being a tea party with appetizers using the herbs grown right in the garden.

Last week, the group hosted a session with Kirk Hardie, founder and president of Red Tail Adventures, who taught guests about how to attract birds to their garden.

“You want birds, they kill insects like mosquitos — we’ll go over what they need in your garden,” he said.

This and so many other fun experiences can be had for a $5 class fee, or gardening enthusiasts can purchase a yearlong membership for $25.

“Since we aren’t run by the college, it’s an all-volunteer effort,” she said. “We always need members who are interested in planting, weeding, cleaning up, helping with the irrigation project — we want people who are interested in knowing about sustainable and environmentally friendly gardening.”

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

Article source:

Organic Gardening the Easy Way, Part I: Bean Arches

Our six-panel cattle arch is ready. All that’s left to do is plant the beans. The space we save by growing vertically can be used to grow other vegetables. Here, we have a few kale plants under row cover. Photo by Carole Coates.

To make our arch even sturdier, we attached each panel to its neighbors with cable ties every few feet. Unlike more flimsy supports, our secure arch easily stands up to both the weight of mature plants and the high winds so common in our neck of the woods.

Beans are filling in the arch. Photo by Carole Coates.

In season, Christmas limas, Fortex (stringless, so that’s nice), Trail of Tears (our favorite heirloom), and scarlet runners create a magical, shady garden arbor, full of pretty bean flowers that give off a lovely aroma. A real treat for the senses.

Easy pickings. Photo by Ron Wynn

We make full use of our bean arch by planting shade-tolerant vegetables in the remaining raised bed space, especially chard, kale, and salad greens. We’ve even had good luck with sun-loving radishes by planting them early in the season at the ends of the rows where they get more daylight. Their season is over well before the beans grow high enough to block the light.

Other Options for Growing Vertically

As much as we love our cattle panel bean arches, we’ve used other kinds of supports to create arches and trellises for growing vertically. There are all sorts of possibilities out there. Be creative.

We upcycled pvc pipe and old yard fencing for this striking homemade flower arch, a focal point in the garden. Doesn’t hurt that pollinators find it inviting, too. Photo by Ron Wynn.

We got these ornamental wrought-iron shutters for a song at a local auction, wired them together, and Voila!, a year-round eye-appealing trellis. Photo by Carole Coates.

Covered with edible flowers, and sometimes gourds, our wrought-iron trellis is barely visible. Photo by Carole Coates.

We turned this discarded A-frame store display unit into a portable arch for cucumbers. Perfect match. Photo by Carole Coates.

We even built a traditional tepee-style bean arch for showy scarlet runners, seen here through the cattle panel bean arch. Note the variety of shade-tolerant veggies filling in all the space we saved by growing our beans vertically. Photo by Carole Coates.

Advantages of Growing Pole Beans

Aside from the ease of gardening with arches, pole beans offer other benefits. Growing vertically is a big space-saver, very important if your gardening area is limited. Pole beans are also much more prolific than their bushy cousins. Not only do you get a higher yield per plant, but as long as you keep picking, they’ll keep producing—great for season-long fresh eating. Without even trying, we’ve been able to can and freeze enough beans to feed ourselves until the next year’s bean harvest rolls around, to donate beans to our local food pantry, and to give plenty of fresh and home-canned beans to friends and family. And we still have enough to put up lots of jars of our favorite dilly beans.

Pole beans are less susceptible to soil-borne diseases than the bush variety, too. The birds and bees love our bean arch, and that’s just fine with me—anything to encourage pollinators and natural pest control gets a big thumbs up from this gardener.

Is there a Downside?

If there’s a disadvantage to using cattle panels in the garden, it’s the very permanence that makes arches so desirable in the first place. It’s best to rotate garden crops from one year to the next, but you’re not going to want to move those heavy panels. The best option is to have two or three shorter lengths of arches. While you’re growing beans in one, plant other vertical-loving plants such as winter squash and cucumbers in the others. Then just move each one over to a different arch the next year.

Go for It!

I encourage you to give bean arches, especially the cattle panel variety, a try. I suspect you’ll fall in love. You may even want to bring a good book and a lawn chair to your arch. It makes a delightful little hideaway when you need to get away from it all.

A cool spot for a break from gardening work. Photo by Carole Coates.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

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Summertime weeds and how to control and get rid of them

Most of the summertime weeds we spend so much time trying to control in the Central Valley are well-adapted to heat, dry conditions and poor soil. Spotted and prostrate spurges, purslane and dandelions can survive quite nicely with little water in hardpacked soil and intense heat. This summer, though, we’re seeing a proliferation of weed types that require damp soil. Dallis grass, white clover, English daisy and yellow wood sorrel are far more prevalent than in other years.


There are two reasons for the increase in weeds that thrive in wet soil. During the last four severe drought years with mandated watering restrictions, all weeds produced larger amounts of seeds; many of those seeds did not germinate but remained viable on the dry soil surface during the drought (a survival mechanism). Above-average rainfall last winter followed by a wetter, cooler spring fostered the germination of those dormant weed seeds in the big bare spots in our formerly brown dead lawns. Also, a lot of homeowners who longed to see lush green grasses around their homes have begun to increase watering times or even ignore the mandated watering schedules and are now overwatering their lawns.

With warnings now about the possible carcinogenic effects of glyphosate (the active ingredient in many post-emergent herbicides including Roundup), we should reconsider discontinuing or modifying our chemically-based weed control programs. Here are the labor-intensive, not as thorough, but environmentally safer controls for the new weeds on the block:

Dallis grass – It forms fairly large clumps in low, wet areas. The grass blades are coarse, dark green and stand almost upright. Use a spading fork or spade to dig up clumps and all the rhizomes (root structure), replace and level soil, and mulch bare spots heavily until reseeding the lawn in fall.

white clover

White clover – This used to be included in grass seed mixes. It goes dormant during drought, creating bare spots which have now filled in with clover. White clover is extremely hard to eradicate since it spreads by aggressively-growing, above- and below-ground stems.

If you’re worried about bee stings on paws and bare feet, try painting the plants with a post-emergent herbicide.

english daisy

English daisy – I like seeing the white daisy flowers in a lawn, but many lawn purists don’t. Dig out the fleshy roots in spring and adjust irrigation sprinklers and timers to keep the lawn on the dry side. Don’t overirrigate.


Yellow wood sorrel – The bright yellow flowers of wood sorrel, also called oxalis, stood high and tall in many uncultivated areas this spring. If oxalis is not mowed or pulled in spring before seed pods form, the dry pods will shoot seeds into the neighbors’ yards when touched.

Look for the bronzy/green clover-like leaves and dig or pull the plants out. A vigorously-growing lawn will outcompete oxalis.

Send Elinor Teague plant questions at

Weed help

For help identifying the weeds in your lawn, check the University of California’s Weed Photo Gallery: It’s important to know exactly which weeds you have before buying and applying preemergent herbicides next fall or spring to prevent weed seeds from germinating.

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5 garden tips for the week starting July 8

Clippers at the ready

Keep geraniums and other flowering plants blooming throughout the summer and longer by deadheading (removing faded blossoms). Most summer annuals, perennials and roses will bloom more if old blossoms are removed as soon as they fade. And an additional dose of plant food will also boost blooming.

Harvest, then prune

Here’s the best way to keep your deciduous fruit trees low and productive: prune them as soon as you harvest the fruit. Top the tree at any height that works for you — about eight feet is practical. Remove strong, upright sprouts, but allow plenty of leaves to remain, because they will feed new branches that emerge in the next several weeks. And these late-summer/autumn branches will produce the bulk of next year’s crop — at a height that is easier to reach.

Skim milk beats mildew

If the foliage on your squashes, roses, crape myrtles and other plants develops powdery mildew, remember that the simple skim milk formula really does keep mildew away. Weekly spraying of foliage with a mixture of one part skim milk and nine parts water is a safe and inexpensive way to get the upper hand on this distressing disease. You could also use sulfur dusts or weekly sprays of products containing triforine in accordance with package directions, but the fat-free milk formula is less expensive, easier to find, and truly does an excellent job. Whatever you use, drench the plants thoroughly, on both sides of all the leaves, and stop spraying by mid-August or when the plant reaches peak bloom.

Smart idea for hollyhocks

Here is a way to work some fun magic with hollyhocks, which usually finish their annual flush of flowers by mid-summer. Cut back the flower stalks just above the ground. Then water and feed the plants right away, and continue watering regularly. This usually causes new flower stalks to develop, and the plants will actually produce a second flush of hollyhock blooms this autumn.

Here’s a good start

To start new plants from a favorite tomato, geranium, rose, lilac or almost any perennial, make a cut halfway through the underside of a long, low-growing stem, dust the cut with rooting hormone (such as Rootone), then bury it 6 to 12 inches deep. Allow 4-8 inches of the leafy end (beyond the cut) to stick out and continue growing. During the summer and fall many types of plants will form roots along the cut. Newly rooted plants can be severed from the parent and transplanted — in a month or two for soft-stemmed types, four to six months for others.

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6 tips to remedy a flooded yard or garden

Extended periods of strong rain over the last several days have forced parts of Chicagoland into flood recovery mode.

Those living in flood zones are likely prioritizing home repair — removing wet carpet and bleaching basements — but when time allows, yards need some TLC, too.

Heavy rain can wreak havoc on plants, but these simple steps go a long way in helping your greenery recover. Here’s where to start:

1. Don’t panic. Wait and see. Give the soil plenty of time to dry out.

Garden club holds June meeting

President Nancy Baldwin called the June 27 meeting of the Hillsboro Garden Club to order with members standing for the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of “God Bless America.” Roll call showed 15 members present, three absentees and two guests, Darlene Eicher and Barbara Story. Reading of the May meeting minutes and treasurer’s report were submitted and approved.

The horticulture specimen of the month was displayed by Nancy Baldwin. A beautiful floral centerpiece from Nancy and Charles Baldwin’s recent 40th wedding anniversary celebration was displayed. Nancy contacted the florist for names of the flowers used in the design. As members tried to identify the blooms, Nancy was able to give the correct name. It was a beautiful learning experience.

Examples of floral arrangements in the fair design classes were displayed prior to the business meeting. Carol Gorby displayed and explained the Fantasy Flow design. This design must have a dominant form flowing away from the base of the main design. The flow may be of natural or man-made material. Carol’s arrangement featured a large upright piece of wood containing large melon-colored day lilies and aspidistra leaves with a “flowing” piece of wood crossing a portion of the table and appearing to run off.

Rose Marie Cowdrey then displayed her Synergistic Design. This is a creative design and the positions of the containers and connective line material should lead your eye through a defined pattern. Using three decorative glass bottles of different sizes and colors, she connected them with looping lime green wiring. Each bottle contained bamboo shoots and blooms in various combinations and differing bottle positions.

Discussions and explanations of the Junior Classes 77, 78 and 79 for the fair were held. Class 77 is to create a design using some recycled material. Class 78 is to create a design containing some type of inner tube. Fabric bags for Class 79 will be handed out at the next meeting. These bags are to be decorated by the exhibitor in some fashion depicting the theme.

Other items discussed and acted upon were: Beautification Awards candidates submitted by Fran Larkin and Mary Smith, approved by the club membership; raffle tickets from OAGC benefiting Mohican School for the Out of Doors resulted in unsold tickets to be returned to OAGC; tabling the decision on the Department of Agriculture’s license requirement for plant sales; update on the 2018 regional meeting the club will be hosting in May 2018; and a reminder to the nominating committee that the slate of officers for 2017-19 is due soon.

The meeting was adjourned and refreshments were served by Kay Neugebauer and Ed Davis.

Submitted by Carol Gorby, club secretary.

Submitted story

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21 Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Thump to it.EXPAND

Thump Daze
While downtown Phoenix continues to carve out a unique identity as a bustling urban center, one little bar has stood quietly amid the shadows of a shifting skyline. There are hotspots with more panache that — deservedly or otherwise — draw more buzz, but ever so unflinchingly the Lost Leaf, 914 North Fifth Street, has stayed true to its modest roots.

A fine purveyor of burgeoning local talent, the bar has provided Valley artists with nightly proving grounds since 2006. But even the most welcoming of crowds need to know they can let their hair down from time to time, which is why every second Thursday of the month the Lost Leaf throws one helluva dance party. Featuring DJ KNS, Thump Daze is an ’80s- and ’90s-themed dance party, and as always, there’s no cover. The 21-and-over event starts at 10 p.m. Visit the Lost Leaf website or call 602-258-0014. Rob Kroehler

Channel your inner Al Beadle during a Midcentury Modern garden design class at Desert Botanical Garden.EXPAND

Midcentury Modern Garden Design
Can’t get enough of Midcentury Modern design? Try bringing the look to your garden or other outdoor spaces. Landscape designer Erin Hutton is teaching a Midcentury Modern Garden Design class at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 13.

Hutton will share information on Midcentury Modern architecture in Phoenix and the principles of landscape design, as well as desert plants and materials that lend themselves to modern landscapes. It’s a chance to explore balance, scale, and proportion — while learning how they function in modern outdoor spaces.
The class includes hands-on activities that help reinforce new knowledge and skills, as well as time for creating a plot plan for your own garden or landscape. The class costs $75, and preregistration is required. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden website. Lynn Trimble

Art can mean so much more than a stuffy gallery exhibition. For an event that encompasses a range of art — from performance and music to makeup — mark your calendar for RAW Phoenix’s upcoming art blowout FIXATE.

From 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, July 13, the event will bring more than 60 local artists, including those working in visual art, dance, music, drag, makeup, hair, and fashion, to The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Cocktail attire is requested for the 18-and-over event. Admission for the event is $22 in advance, $30 at the door. Visit the RAW Artists website for more information. Lindsay Roberts

Brelby Theatre Company fosters a lot of new, local playwrights, but it also brought us the world-famous Ghost the Musical. Along those lines, the company’s current production is the Arizona premiere of Dogfight, an early work by songwriting team Pasek and Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen), based on a 1991 River Phoenix movie.

It’s 1963 in San Francisco. Three young Marines engage in a dogfight that might not be what you’re thinking. There’s also a traditional “I dated you to win a bet but I really like you” plotline. We’re just happy to see a show with a Vietnam War setting that doesn’t take place in the jungle.

Admission is $30 for the opening night gala on Friday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. at 7154 North 58th Drive in Glendale. Tickets for the rest of the run, through Saturday, August 5, are $17 to $25 at the Brelby website or 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson

Patrick Roland
In the throes of grief, self-doubt, and addiction following the death of his partner, Patrick Roland contemplated jumping off the ledge of his Las Vegas hotel room. In Unpacked Sparkle, Roland writes a raw, emotional, and sometimes humorous memoir detailing the events that brought the writer to that moment above the lights of the Vegas strip and how he found his way back down. Roland honestly discusses LGBT rights, mental health, acceptance, and recovery.

Roland will sign Unpacked Sparkle starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 14, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free, and the book costs $19.95. Visit the Changing Hands website for more details. Jason Keil

Imagine your everyday objects transformed into fossils.EXPAND

RoRo Shipping Container Gallery: Zach Valent, Christina Kemp Sullivan, Josh Loeser
One day, all those modern-day must-haves like laptops and cars will be obsolete. Artist Zach Valent gets it, as evidenced by his fictitious fossils of semi-recent history. For one exhibition, he transformed a rotary-dial telephone into what looked like an ancient artifact. For another, he created floor-to-ceiling paper sculptures referencing the demise of print media in the digital age. He’s even fossilized a seated, solitary man whose hand holds a cellphone. Basically, Valent uses concrete, ceramic, wood, paper, and other media to create icons of contemporary consumer culture.

Valent is one of three artists with exhibitions opening on Friday, July 14, at the shipping-container galleries near the intersection of Roosevelt and Fourth streets. Stop by between 6 and 10 p.m. to see work by Valent, Christina Kemp Sullivan, and Josh Loeser. Each of these free exhibitions, presented by Rhetorical Galleries, holds important object lessons for viewers. Visit the Rhetorical Galleries website. Lynn Trimble

Stretch to sound.EXPAND

If music helps you relax, think of what it will do to you when you combine it with yoga. This Live-Music-Flow class led by Alissa Will lets guests of all levels practice yoga to the live guitar sounds of Kurt Kleinhans. Stay after to class to meet others involved in the yoga community, as well as guests from benefiting charities.

Stretch to the sounds from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 14, at Metta Yoga, 4041 East Thomas Road, #106. Admission is free, and donations are accepted to benefit the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Call 602-252-0662 or visit the New Metta Yoga website. Amy Young

Do you know what happens at Taliesin West after dark?EXPAND

Night Lights Tour
Do you know what happens at Taliesin West after dark? We’re not sure about six out of seven nights, but on Fridays, the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Scottsdale is open for its Night Lights Tour.

Explore the Midcentury Modern masterpiece at 12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard as the sun sets. On Friday July 14, tours leave at 6:30, 7, and 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $40, and the tour isn’t intended for children younger than 13. For reservations, call 888-516-0811 or visit the Taliesin West website for tickets. Lindsay Roberts

Support local arts by attending the Creative Catalysts Gallery Project exhibition.

Creative Catalysts Gallery Project
Want to inspire and assemble an arts community? Give local artists plenty of places to show and sell their work, then find creative ways to encourage people to explore them. For the city of Mesa, that includes Second Friday art walks and the Creative Catalysts Gallery Project.

Creative Catalysts is a Mesa Arts Center initiative geared toward the 40-and-under set. It’s all about bringing more art to the suburb’s downtown area and supporting its arts scene. Next up for the project is a free selfie-themed art exhibition taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 14. The group show is on view at K’é, 126 West Main Street, a small business center that takes its name from the Diné (Navajo) word for a system of kinship. The night includes not only visual art but live entertainment as well. Visit the Creative Catalysts Facebook page. Lynn Trimble

Read on for more things to do and see this week — including Doug Benson, a salsa festival, and a Game of Thrones trivia night.

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Northwest Flower & Garden Show announces new GardenPRO Conference

SEATTLE— The producers of the Northwest Flower Garden Show, which takes place Feb. 7-11, 2018, have announced the introduction of a new, one-day conference during the 30th annual show at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Set for Friday, Feb. 9, the inaugural GardenPRO Conference will spotlight topics of interest to professionals in all areas of the green industry: landscape architects, garden book authors, horticulturists, garden designers, bloggers, arborists, garden media personalities, nursery owners and emerging garden professionals. The event will be held in The Conference Center in the Convention Center.

Plantsman Timothy Walker, a 2018 Show Judge and the former director of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, will lead off the conference with his keynote presentation, “The Healing Power of Plants.” Dynamic leadership speaker Matt Walker, author of “Adventure in Everything,” will close the conference with his presentation, “High Performance Living Every Day.”

In addition to the opening and closing presentations, GardenPRO Conference attendees may select from three seminars held during each of the three concurrent sessions throughout the day.

Topics include “Romancing the Zone: Transplanting Life from Zone 4 to Zone 9” with 2018 Show Judge, Portland designer and horticulturist Bob Hyland; “Pitch Perfect: Polishing Your Writing Craft to Sell Your Ideas,” with Garden Design magazine editor Thad Orr, designer and author Susan Morrison, author Mary-Kate Mackey and author and publicist Katie Elzer-Peters;  “Aligning Your Business with Today’s Garden Trends” is presented by Garden Media Group founder Suzi McCoy and creative director Katie Dubow. “Social Outreach: Crafting a Strategy for Increasing and Engaging Social Media Followers” includes author Debra Prinzing,  author and blogger Stephanie Rose, Corona Tools digital marketing manager Chris Sabbarese and Katie Elzer-Peters.

The line-up will continue with “A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for a New Garden Future” presented by Benjamin Vogt, designer and author of the upcoming book, “A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future;” “From Meh to Wow: Take Photos to Really Sell Your Work” with photographer David Perry; “Creating a SITES Certified Garden” with Debra Guenther, FASLA, a 2018 Show Judge and partner at Mithun; and attorney Mike Atkins presents “Intellectual Theft: Best Practices in Protecting Your Work and Brand.”

Learn about “Getting the Most From Your Professional Certifications,” with moderator Will Bailey, LICM, EcoPro, and panelists Heather Harris, CPH, owner/operator of Calluna Fine Gardening; Lisa Port, APLD designer and owner of Banyon Tree Design; and Jay Nyce, CIC, CLIA, designer and co-owner of Nyce Gardens. 

Northwest Flower Garden Show Manager Jeff Swenson is positive about the benefits for GardenPRO Conference attendees.

“As the second-largest garden event in the United States, the Northwest Flower Garden Show attracts garden professionals from all areas of the green industry,” Swenson says. “The conference is an exciting and new educational opportunity complementing our longstanding mission of helping professionals improve their business, no matter what kind of gardening market niche they serve.”

Janet Endsley, the Northwest Flower Garden Show’s long-time Seminar Manager who is managing the conference, said the early response to the new event has been overwhelmingly positive.

Registration for the GardenPRO Conference includes opening and closing keynote presentations, three concurrent sessions (choose from three seminars each), two coffee breaks, an Evening Reception and two tickets to the Northwest Flower Garden Show, good for any day of the show.

Attendees can register at Early registration (first 200 attendees) is $225; regular registration (through Dec. 31, 2017) is $275, and late registration (after Jan. 1, 2018) is $325. Registered participants may add up to five guests to attend the Evening Reception for an additional $50 per person.

For more information and updates about the 2018 GardenPRO Conference, visit

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Residents push North Knoxville development plan – WBIR

KNOXVILLE – A busy part of North Knoxville is set to see major changes. Residents are developing a plan called the North Broadway Corridor.

It stretches from Fifth Avenue to Interstate 640.

They’re concentrating on boosting walkability and safety near the Kroger.

“People get tired of Wendy’s everyday, of McDonald’s everyday, and they want to try something different,” said owner of Time Out Deli, Charlie Mubarak.

Mubarak is building something he says will be different on North Broadway in Knoxville.

“We have a big selection, so that gives them more choices to choose from,” said Mubarak.

The menu will be long at his new restaurant, Time Out Deli. If the name sounds familiar it’s because he’s run similar delis in the past.

“The hoagies, the Philly cheesesteak subs, the Reubens, the cheeseburgers—the Vol burgers,” said Mubarak. “It’s going to be a big selection.”

He and his son Eddie as well as grandson Charlie are waiting patiently for construction to finish in an area of town that’s hungry for a change.

“We are excited and waiting for the deadline really,” said Mubarak. “Hopefully, it will be helpful for the community and this area, and convenient for a lot of people around here.”

Time Out Deli is just the beginning of a change that could be huge for Broadway.

“It’s a mixed corridor,” said Leslie Fawaz, Studio Design Director at the East Tennessee Community Design Center. “It’s got a lot of residential directly feeding into all this commercial use.”

Fawaz helped envision a plan for the area.

“There’s tons of potential for those businesses and to make a pedestrian friendly, attractive area for Knoxville,” said Fawaz.

Residents went to the design center for help because they wanted a safer and better looking area around Cecil Road and Broadway.

“A potential is a bridge across or like at Tyson Park could you go under Broadway and access the Greenway to get to the shopping plaza,” said Fawaz.

The Design Center drew up crosswalk ideas and parking plazas, with a focus on landscaping and lighting, plus the possibility of easier transportation access.

“So you could have five bus stops, which are currently on Broadway, possibly located within the parking lot of the shopping center,” said Fawaz.

Now, it’s up to residents to show support.

“If the community backs it, it can happen,” said Fawaz. “It’s just a matter of getting it on the city’s budget list.”

Time Out Deli plans to open at the beginning of October.

Residents say some city council members have seen the plans, and they’ll continue to meet with business owners to grow the area.

© 2017 WBIR.COM

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