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Archives for July 15, 2017

Tips for taking better photos of your garden and wildlife – Gardening …

A grilled cheese sandwich is one of life’s simple culinary pleasures. It’s often one of the first things that kids learn to cook for themselves, and it’s always a warm, filling comfort food.

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Tips for taking better photos of your garden and wildlife

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)

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This week’s gardening tips: plant pumpkins now for fall Jack-o-Lanterns


This week’s gardening tips: Plant pumpkin seeds this month for Halloween pumpkins: The squash vine borer can be destructive to pumpkins and squash planted at this time of the year. The borer is a grub-like caterpillar that burrows into the stem and eats it out, causing the plant to wilt and die. If you have had major problems in the past, treat plants regularly with Sevin, BT or spinosad to control.

Numerous bedding plants may look a little stressed now: Impatiens, begonias, salvias and geraniums can be struggling. Blame the heat, both day and night. Many bedding plants (especially the tender perennials we grow as annuals) can be cut back in late July or early August. They will revive as the weather cools and provide color until November or longer.

Do not place container plants directly onto wooden decks: The moisture underneath can damage the wood. (Saucers do the same thing.) Boost pots off of the surface an inch or two with pieces of brick or terra-cotta pot supports (called “pot feet”) available at some local nurseries and garden shops. The pot feet may help the drainage holes to function better and can prevent dark stains under pots on concrete.

Keep peppers and eggplants in vigorous growth: Even if not producing well now, peppers and eggplants planted in spring will revive and produce well in the fall if the plants are growing. Sidedress them every six weeks, and you will be amazed at how productive they can be in September, October and early November.

Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter.

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5 garden tips for the week starting July 15 – The Pasadena Star

Fruit strategies

Apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines, grapes and other summer fruits ripen fast in the heat. Check them every other day or so and harvest as they mature. Since they spoil quickly in hot weather, plan to do some canning, drying, freezing or juicing. It may be unpleasant work now, but the effort sure pays off when you open and enjoy it this winter.

Orchid options

Remember to water cymbidium orchids regularly and feed them lightly with liquid fertilizer each time you water. Use a high-nitrogen fertilizer from early spring until the end of June. After that — from July until early October — feed them with a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus formula. Be sure they get a good amount of bright sunlight, lightly filtered in the heat of the day, to ensure great blooming next season.

Carrots do summer too

You may plant carrots now even though they are generally considered to be a cool-weather crop, because each individual carrot takes three months or more to develop. And it will be cool by that time. Actually carrots may be planted year-round. The same is true with radishes, except they mature in only a few weeks.

Harvest time

Harvest green beans every two or three days to keep more beans coming along. Without continual harvesting, plants think their mission is accomplished as seeds mature, and they stop trying to make more. Also, periodic feeding with a 5-10-10 formula plant food and regular watering will help to guarantee a continuing high-quality harvest. During the high-sunlight, high-warmth days of summer, plants grow rapidly and sometimes we forget that they need an ample supply of soil nutrients for optimal growth.

Made in the shade

If your house is too hot in summer, shade trees can lower the temperature by 20 degrees or more. Planting on the south and east sides of the house help to retain morning coolness. Tall trees that grow on the south and west sides of a house prevent the heat of mid-afternoon from becoming overwhelming. Shade trees are not only aesthetically pleasing, but having them strategically located around your property will also reduce energy consumption — and costs.

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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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julia jamrozik + coryn kempster play with color in vertical line garden

working with patterns, order, color and density, the ‘vertical line garden’ installation, presented for the international garden festival in quebec, canada, is a play on formal traditional gardens with contemporary readymade means and hyper unnatural materials. the main material forming the installation, barricade tape, is typically used to delineate a perimeter and keep people out of a particular area. here however it is used precisely to bring visitors into the space and entice them to inhabit it.

the interior space of the ‘vertical line garden’ designed by the canadian duo
all images © coryn kempster



the ‘vertical line garden’ installation designed by canadian artists julia jamrozik + coryn kempster, is meant to be experienced, explored, and occupied. for this purpose custom bent steel and fabric lounge chairs are provided.

the barrier tape that forms the installation is being activated by a light breeze



julia jamrozik + coryn kempster’s ‘vertical line garden’ along with its canopy of colorful lines is both graphic and playful. as a space it encourages interaction without being prescriptive about use. while adults enjoy the comfort of the loungers and take pleasure in the moment of repose that the garden provides, youngsters use the tape as maze to run through, frolic in and explore.

the barrier tape being activated by a strong gust of wind



drawing on the formal language of historical garden design, and the contemporary means of mass-produced safety and construction materials, ‘vertical line garden’ is a graphic and spatial intervention. the installation introduces man-made elements into the cultivated natural environment of les jardins de métis. through this juxtaposition of the manufactured and the natural, a dialogue is created, based on the shared theme of protection and necessary safeguarding.

an engulfing space for adults to repose and for young ones to interact with the porous installation

the strands of tape vary in length for young ones to run through

detail view of the manmade barrier tape

detail view of the manmade barrier tape

a contemplative space to linger for people of all ages

the movement of the wind reveals the porosity of the installation

a full multi-sensory experience
image © martin bond

the ‘vertical line garden’ installation seen from afar



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

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Ideas from the Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk – The Buffalo …

Last weekend I had only limited time to visit gardens during the Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk. Still, the experience in just three gardens reminded me of the value of the whole regional phenomena. (Western New York offers five weeks of walks, tours and Open Gardens that comprise about 1,000 private gardens that you can visit.)

No matter where you go, gardens will surprise you, stimulate ideas, and may even change your mood and outlook for an entire day, week, or longer – as the following did for me.

Bright colors and hospitality

Some gardens just say “Come in, sit down, have a beverage, and stay awhile!” That is the Washut and Kelkenberg garden in Hamburg, one of my perennial favorites.

The café-like setting, with great cushioned seats and multiple umbrella tables, is visually exciting and just feels like a happy place. Gardener Kathy Kelkenberg told me the original idea was to buy one picnic table with umbrella, but somehow one became three, and now? “When we put the umbrellas down, the party is over – it looks like nothing,” she said.

Good reminder to us all: Provide seating and tables – generously – so that people will want to stay.

While first impressions in this garden are of brightness, color and furnishings, it’s also a study in garden design and use of space. For instance, how would you use the space in a village corner lot, to allow for some privacy?

The banana plant in the Washut/Kelkenberg garden. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

The gardeners created a west-facing perennial border (great for pollinators as well as passers-by) that faces the sidewalk and is backed by shrubs that close off the yard.

Inside, garden paths effectively create outdoor rooms and lead guests to specific planting beds and artifacts. A pondless waterfall, surrounded by proportionate shrubs and flowers, divides the café area from other sections and provides a calming effect.

One visitor wrote in the Guest Book: “This is a good place to meditate – with my eyes wide open!” I agree. Beyond design, the garden also shows off special plants. Bright planters overflow with grasses and tropicals, looking effortless, but with more analysis you can identify a lot of fine gardening and experience underlying this appealing garden.

I really did not want to leave this space, but I took with me the determination to brighten up my seating areas and to keep my eyes open for more dramatic containers. And I must sit still more often and just look.

(Note: See more photos of the Washut and Kelkenberg garden in Hamburg – as well as gardens in Lockport and Lackawanna – in this Sunday’s Home Style section.)

Make an original statement

I asked Marg Rust, who coordinates Buzz Around Hamburg, what garden I should show on TV this season – maybe a newer one that I hadn’t shown or written about?

“The Povinelli garden,” she said. “It’s, well, less about plants and more about really amazing hardscape and design creations. They’re so original.”

She was surely right … cobblestones salvaged from a factory floor on Ohio Street, slate from old Hamburg Village sidewalks, a potting table made from original posts that were part of a porch built in 1882 (dated and signed by the craftsman), a collection of cobalt-blue glass panes that stand behind yellow daylilies – salvaged from St. Brigid’s Church, built in 1859 and burned in 1968.

Another treasure – that most people would have left to deteriorate – is a Goshen Glide Settee that Tom Povinelli’s parents bought in 1940. It spent decades “moldering in a barn” before he restored it.

Treasures came from many places to create this most original garden. Janet and Tom Povinelli trucked in a 2-ton boulder from Gernatt Asphalt Products that they informed is a “Leaverite.” They said that with a wink. Then I learned: People who move boulders like to say, “Leave ‘er right there.”

The original Povinelli approach didn’t end with hardscape items. They transformed a hilly mount of grass into the most unexpected, dramatic, Japanese-inspired raked-stone garden. This flat, quiet space is surrounded by a round berm, with woolly thyme covering the inner wall. You must see it next summer, or if you’re lucky, make friends sooner with these cool, creative people.

My thought leaving this garden: Sometimes artistry – being “original” – is a matter of keeping one’s eyes open and having the imagination to see an object that others don’t, and knowing that it’s worth keeping, restoring or repurposing. The Povinellis certainly have the eyes for it.

Dave and Barb Whittemore’s garden in Hamburg was also featured in The Buffalo News in 2015. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Intense, passionate collectors

The Whittemore garden is an Open Garden and a tour bus destination this season, and I’ll take people to it whenever I can. Words, and even pictures, don’t capture the intensity of these artistically arranged and densely packed collections of hostas (more than 350) and dwarf conifers and perennials, complemented by moving train sets no less.

Barb Whittemore told me this happens often: A woman carrying a garden tour map starts down the ramp into the back garden, and will gasp and turn around, saying “Oh, I’ll be right back!” Return she does, leading her husband, who’d chosen to stay in the car after seeing enough gardens that day. This one is also for him.

In fact I can’t imagine who would not be impressed by so many plants, so beautifully tended, in a small yard, with the additional achievement of making several railroads operational. The Whittemores are diligent, passionate, accomplished, and eager to share.

When you see gardens on tour, remember how much these people are giving of their time and effort, and the risks they are taking, exposing their taste and choices.
It’s such a gift.

The fourth garden

After touring that day I returned home with the intention of doing some computer work and starting some laundry. My garden called me instead. There they were: the fluffy, pink Filipendulas and the hedge of Sorbaria blooming, the bright daisies surrounding a yellow rose, and so many daylilies just opening – one more delightful than the next.

I was so happy I’d dragged out the blue birdbath and blue bottles for the bottle tree, and I’d made the little fountain work. It’s not a showplace garden like those amazing ones, but it’s my favorite of all. And that may be the important thing: Garden for the joy of it, whether guests are coming or not.

Sally Cunningham is a garden writer, lecturer and consultant.


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Boca brainstorms how to improve 14 parks as part of waterfront plan …

By the end of the year, Boca may be ready to roll out upgrades to 14 of its waterfront parks, officials say.

Residents got to see design drafts for some of the parks Wednesday as officials look to revamp the city-owned properties.

“I’m just excited that they’re not only looking at a few parks, but they’re looking at 14 areas,” said resident Arlene Owens. “I’m very impressed.”

Some of the parks with significant proposed improvements include:

Should I hire a professional photographer for that?

woman photographs purple flowers in garden

Photo: Dark Dwarf/Flickr

When it comes to showing off the hard work you and your crews have done in photographs, it’s very tempting to take on that task yourself.

With advances in cellular technology and the popularity of point and shoot cameras, it’s easy to think that you have more than enough photographic talent to take your own high quality photos.

Even though you feel qualified to take project photos on your own, it may not be the best idea when it comes to selling your business via pictures. Professional photographers, many times, have high prices for their services, but when it comes down to it, good publicity is often worth the price of professional grade photos.

It’s a similar concept to having homeowners believe they have the talent and equipment to do the jobs you and your trained crew members do, even though they have no formal training. When in doubt, leave the professional-grade jobs to the professionals.

If you do decide to hire a professional photographer, take a look at a few important tips to keep in mind when picking out the perfect person for your projects.

Check qualifications

Before hiring a photographer to take on your project, be sure to meet with them and discuss what makes them qualified to shoot for you.

Talk about their training, the equipment they use and ask to see their portfolio, especially if they have previous work in the green industry. Carefully look over their photos to see if their vision lines up with yours, and be sure to find photographers who are on board with doing a variety of shots.

There’s a big difference between someone who’s shot portraits and someone who specializes in landscape photography, so take that into consideration when looking over resumes and portfolios.

Trust the photographer

There are very few people who enjoy being micromanaged, and photographers are definitely better left alone.

Once you find a photographer you trust, it’s important to establish trust with them so that you are free to continue your work while they handle photographing.

If it helps you both out in the beginning to go to project sites together, just to get a better feel for each other, that’s perfectly acceptable. But once you’ve seen their process and their work firsthand, let them do their job.

Many photographers will also take your opinions and suggestions into consideration, so if you or your crew members have ideas for creative photo ideas, let your photographer know. You never know what idea they will be able to make into an amazing picture.

Also consider having before and after shots done to ensure customers are able to tell a significant difference in what was there before and what your company can do.

What to include?

Along with having the rights to your project photos, which may cost extra depending on who you work with, discuss the editing process with your photographer. More often than not, editing costs are factored in to the overall price of a photo session, but be sure to bring that up when meeting with your photographer.

If your company does not own the right to the photos, you could ultimately end up having to pay for each time you decide to use one of the photos. Be careful with the photo rights once you do have them, though. Be wary of where you use them and who you let have access to them, otherwise they could end up somewhere they don’t need to be.


It’s difficult to calculate an absolute number when dealing with professional photographers, because a lot of different factors can add to the cost. Location can also alter the pricing of photographers, so remember that when shopping around.

Some photographers charge by the hour, some by the day and some by the project, but typical landscape companies have reported that photography services can run anywhere between $500-$2,000, depending on these factors.

Is it worth the money?

This question is one that professional photographers hear on an almost daily basis, and the short answer is: Yes.

Pictures truly are worth 1,000 words, and having the right photographer working on your site can boost your company’s appeal. Along with vamping up your website, these photos can be used on all social media sites and even on posters and more.

As landscapers, you are in the image business. You work tirelessly to make yards beautiful, and having photos that reflect that hard work is priceless.

In the visual media-based world we live in, having high quality photos can help push your business farther than you ever thought possible. People may scroll right by a social media post with just text, but they stop, gawk at and click on beautifully taken photos.

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MGI Landscapes: There’s still time to get it done!

Megan Gray, owner of 

MGI Landscapes

, says just because the 4th of July has come and gone, doesn’t mean landscaping season is over! There is still plenty of time to get your landscaping project done! 

 Megan Gray, MGI Landscapes, at KFGO Radio 

Gray has affordable cliff rock “icing on the cake” ideas (like outdoor kitchens waterfalls), how you might make a “safe space” for the dogs who reek havoc on your grass and more… 

Click here

to see more on their Facebook page. 

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