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Archives for August 3, 2017

Gardening tips for gardens in August – Eastbourne Herald

Garry Winwood of Stone Cross Garden Centre looks at how to help your garden through August.

August is month that everyone thinks of holidays and enjoying spent outdoors. This is the month we appreciate our garden more than ever, but don’t worry if your garden is looking a little exhausted from the heat in July, doing a little careful planting of some new colour and deadheading will encourage further blooms that will continue that summer feeling right into autumn.

Top five must dos this month

– Enjoy the glorious blooms and vibrant colour in the garden

– Water to stop plants drying out

– Feed and deadhead hanging basket plants, repeat flowering perennials and roses to enjoy flowering for longer

– Enjoy your own produce and harvest vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, runner beans and courgettes

– Add extra impact plants, ground cover and colour to your garden.

Plant of the month – the hydrangea

Our plant of the month is an old favourite – it has a reputation of being robust and you will amazed at the impact it will have in your garden. They have amazing flowers with a large variety of colours to choose from. The blooms last for ages, can be picked as cut flowers and are extremely hardy surviving even the worst cold wet winters.

They love moist, well drained soil and a semi shady spot. Feed in late spring or late winter but do not overfeed. When planting choose a spot to allow the plant to grow, dig a hole large enough for the roots to spread out, add fertilizer and mulch around the plants to protect from frost. Water the plant well, but be careful not to over water and you will be rewarded with the most amazing blooms.

Blue Hydrangeas flowers can be obtained and maintained by applying Hydrangea Colourant or Ericaceous Plant Food designed for feeding Rhododendrons and Camelias.

Pink Hydrangeas flowers can have their colour intensified by applying lime to your soil and watering it in. This will reduce the acidity.

White Hydrangea flowers and also the lime green types remain white or lime green irrespective of the pH of the soil. However in the case of Hydrangea paniculata Vanille Fraise they initially show white blooms that gradually change to a light pink as they age.

Bring in texture and foliage – Gardens don’t have to be all about flowers. Texture and foliage keeps a garden interesting throughout the season without too much work. There are so many plants to choose from.

Combining different greens, reds and silvers will make a big impact. Grasses, Acers and Hostas are just a few to name, but don’t forget ferns – they will add texture and are perfect in shaded area. Rockery plants and succulents add more interest and are often over looked but can really transform certain area.

Jobs for this month

Watering – Plants become stressed if not watered sufficiently. This causes poor growth, leaf drop, reduced flowering and makes plants more susceptible to pest and disease attacks. It is important to keep Camelia and Rhododendrons watered as this will help flowering buds for next year to swell.

Get your plants in trim – You can prune climbing plants such as Wisteria and Pyracantha and shrubs such as Hebe and Lavender once they have finished flowering. Hedging plants can be given their last trim of the season. Leave them at your desired winter height as the weather will soon cool down stopping growth.

Continue deadheading – Keep deadheading and feeding your hanging basket and patio pot plants to keep them producing new flowers through well into autumn. Similarly the dead heading of flowering perennials such as Dahlia and Penstemon will prolong their colourful displays.

Add impact – If you have empty spaces in your garden there are many specimen impact shrubs available. They give extra vibrancy to your garden.

Powdery Mildew – Keep a lookout for this fungal disease which appears as a white dusty substance on leaves, stems, fruit and flowers. It causes distorted growth, dieback and looks unsightly. It is possible to spray fungicides to control outbreaks on ornamental plants. However, there is no fungicide available to home gardeners that is safe for use on edible plants. As a preventative measure you should water the plant weekly pooling water at the base of the plants stem so that it drains through to the roots. You can then apply a mulch of well-rotted compost or bark to help to lock in the moisture to the ground. This will reduce stress to your plants. The more stressed the plant is the more likely it is it will be affected by pests and diseases. If the outbreak is limited it is possible to remove the affected shoots to reduce the risk of the mildew spreading. It is best to remove all affected fallen leaves. This will help to prevent the spores over wintering and causing problems again in the spring. These leaves should be disposed of in your council green waste bin.

Roses – If your plant is heavily infected with blackspot spraying is less likely to be effective. You can prune the roses back heavily removing all affected leaves. These should be raked up and disposed of in your council green waste bin.

Lawns – Your lawn will still require weekly mowing at this time of year. However, it is advisable to set mowers to a higher level than at other times of the year to prevent grass from drying out and suffering stress related damage. If you have brown patches in the lawn do not be alarmed. These will often disappear naturally once the autumn rain arrives.

Grow your own

August is a great month for harvesting vegetables such as tomatoes, second early potatoes, carrots, runner beans, sweetcorn and courgettes. Fruit such as autumn raspberries, blackberries cherries and plums will also be ripening and soon ready.

Keep watering and feeding your fruit and vegetables with a fertiliser high in potassium.

Stop tomatoes from growing any higher once they have set five trusses. These are the shoots bearing yellow flowers. You should still continue to remove side shoots. Also do not let them dry out as this will lead to blossom end rot.

Lift onions, garlic and shallots once the top growth has yellowed and dropped over. Leave them to dry off in the sun before storing them in onion bags to prevent mould from developing.

If you have space available in you vegetable plot you can sow beetroot, french beans, carrots, lettuce, radish and green manure. The green manure is grown to be dug into the soil. This helps to produce humus and holds plant nutrients improving the fertility of your soil.

Plant additional herbs to give your garden increased fragrance. It will also spice up your cooking through the winter too. Herbs are low maintenance, easy to grow plants.

Remember to regularly harvest your runner beans, French beans and courgettes. This will mean that the plant continues to produce young tasty produce.

Look out for the runners on strawberries and when you spot them plug them down into the soil. This will create a new plant for you producing fruit from next year.

Citrus fruits can be grown outside if the temperature at night is above 5oC. However, they are extremely hungry individuals and will require weekly feeding with specific citrus foods or high nitrogen fertilisers.

Stone Cross Garden Centre, Dittons Road, Stone Cross, Pevensey. stonecrossgardencentre.co.uk

Article source: http://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/lifestyle/gardening-tips-for-gardens-in-august-1-8084340

Gardening tips that could save your home from a bushfire

NEIL Fisher knows all too well the dangers of an out-of-control bushfire.

In 2009, he came close to losing his home to flames roaring through the Berserkers.

The Rocky councillor and owner of Fishers Nursery was at ‘ground zero’ with fire lapping fences surrounding his Rockonia Rd property.

“We expected to come back to everything burnt down but we were lucky. Our home was saved by the rural fire brigade,” Cr Fisher said.

“The fire was less than 10m from the nursery and we just kept the sprinklers going to try and save it but 6000 plants died from the heat. They literally roasted in their pots.

“Four houses up from us, the downpipes of that home literally imploded from the heat.”

With Rocky heading into a hot, dry fire season, Cr Fisher is urging residents to prepare for potential bushfires, particularly when it comes to gardens.

“The first thing you need to know is there is no such thing as a fireproof plant,” Cr Fisher said.

“However there are plants that are less susceptible to burning and these are best called Firewise plants. These plants have the following traits: thick, fleshy leaves, a high salt content in the leaves and those with thick, milky sap and leathery leaves are often hard to burn.

“At the other end of the scale are the fire risk plants and include most wattle varieties, most cypresses, most bomboos, athel pines and olives. Trees like Eucalypts have a remarkable ability to regrow after severe bushfires, but the trees themselves do not retard fire. Their leaves contain high concentrations of volatile oils that make them prone to fire.

“The foliage and timber can explode with heat and is often responsible for starting spot fires ahead of the main fire front.”

Firewise Groundcovers

  • Agapanthus orientalis or Lilly of the Nileis hardy flowering lilies producing large blue or white flowers during the summer months. Agapanthus are easy to grow and will tolerate soils from sandy and well drain to heavy clay. It is important to remember that they do not require a lot of water once they have established.
  • Convolulus cneorum or Silver Bush is a silver foliaged groundcover that provides something different for the garden with masses of large white flowers produced during the warmer months. It is excellent as a specimen plant and is ideal for borders and pots on patios. It handles sun or part shade, is salt and drought tolerant and frost hardy.
  • Gazanias scandens is available in several colours, and may be planted as a colour mix or as a single colour for greater impact. Gazanias flower through out most of the year, slowing down and going off flower in winter. The Silver Leaf Gazania is different to the other Gazanias in that its leaves are a very attractive silver/grey in colouration.
  • Trachelospermum jasminoides or Chinese Star Jasmine is a lovely, rather slow growing evergreen self-clinging climber, with sweetly fragrant, starry white flowers during summer. It prefers warm districts and can be grown in the shade.

Firewise Shrubs

  • Graptophyllum excellsum or Native Fuschia is an attractive dry-scrub plant will grow to around 2m high and produces beautiful red fuschia-like flowers. It is native throughout isolated sections of Central Queensland, including the Berserker Wilderness.
  • Strelitzia reginae or Bird of Paradise is an evergreen perennial that can grow to 2m in most situations. It is grown for its spectacular flowers that are used all over the world for cut flowers. Flowers have orange petals and blue flowers on long stems and it will bloom most of the year.
  • Syzygium paniculatum hybrids or Lilly-pilly, privide some of the best hedging plants availiable to local gardeners. There are dozens of hybrids on the market but some of the best hedging varieties are Syzygium Aussie Boomer, Aussie Copper, Bush Christmas, Copperhedge, Elegance, Hinterland Gold and Select. The parent of these hybrids, Syzygium paniculatum, is found growing naturally in the mountains around Rockhampton. It has glossy green leaves, coloured new growth, and creamy white flowers, by rose-purple berries.
  • Xanthostemon Fairhill Gold is a showy screen shrub growing to around 3m high and 2m wide, with clusters of golden yellow flowers sporadically throughout the year. It will tolerate full sun or part shade and grows best in well-drained soil.

Bush Fire Management Tips

When establishing a landscape close to buildings please consider:

  • Establish an understorey of lawn or ground covers under trees and shrubs adjoining buildings;
  • Planting’s near buildings should be low hazard vegetation.
  • Establish higher hazard vegetation away from buildings.
  • Trees and shrubs should not be planted closer to buildings and powerlines than the distance equal to their mature height for your site.

Vegetation Maintenance as a fire prevention measure:

  • Remove trees or prune limbs overhanging buildings.
  • Create firebreaks from ground level to tree canopy by clearing debris and flammable vegetation under trees and shrubs.
  • Prune lower branches to provide a vertical 2-metre firebreak.
  • Remove debris in trees and shrubs and prune dead limbs.
  • Water all plants surrounding buildings during the fire danger season to retain the foliage moisture content.
  • Mow lawn or ground covers no taller than 100mm.

The best thing you can do with fire management in your garden is be observant and remove any fire hazards when you notice them.

Article source: https://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/gardening-tips-that-could-save-your-home-from-a-bu/3208140/

August gardening tips for the Fort Smith region – Entertainment …

August in Arkansas can be a tough time for gardeners. It can also be a time to get more out of your garden than you imagined. It just takes a bit more effort and a few more tasks.

But the No. 1 priority is, take care of the gardener: Wear sunscreen, avoid gardening in the hottest part of the day, use a mosquito repellant in late afternoon and keep hydrated.

Tips for the garden include:

• Deadhead perennials and annuals for continued blooming until the first frost. Remove fallen or decaying leaves that can harbor disease and insect pests over the winter.

• Select and order bulbs from catalogues for planting this fall. In regard to bulb size, biggest is usually best.

• Start your fall vegetable garden. Sow seeds of cool weather crops (such as carrots, parsley, radishes, Swiss chard and lettuce) and plant fall vegetable seedlings (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts).

• Continue to feed summer annuals and container plants with a complete fertilizer such as 20-20-20.

• Dig, divide and replant bearded iris rhizomes and perennials.

• Water lawns early in the morning to avoid excess evaporation. Use sprinkler that produces large drops of water instead of a fine mist.

• Continue to be on the lookout for signs of crapemyrtle bark scale — easily identified as black sooty mold on leaves and trunk and patches of white felt-like specks on trees or branches.

• Give spring-flowering shrubs their final feeding of 2017.

• Continue to feed chrysanthemums until their buds swell and begin to open for fall show of color.

• A new layer of mulch or organic matter will help keep down weeds and hold in moisture.

• Select a cool day for preparing your fall planter beds. Cultivate the soil at least 12 inches deep, work in a 2-3-inch layer of organic matter or compost, and add a small amount of balanced fertilizer.

Lance Kirkpatrick is the Sebastian County Cooperative Extension agent. Have questions about lawn, garden or other horticulture related issues? The Sebastian County Extension Service can help with offices in Barling and Greenwood. Call (479) 484-7737 for answers to horticulture questions.

Article source: http://www.arkansasnews.com/entertainmentlife/20170803/august-gardening-tips-for-fort-smith-region

DIY: Tips for making old stuff ‘new’ again

Vintage doorknobs, mounted to the wall, are the perfect spot to hang a towel, scarves or jackets while adding a little vintage style. 

Article source: http://lancasteronline.com/features/home_garden/diy-tips-for-making-old-stuff-new-again/article_799bdbd6-77a5-11e7-8524-5bbca870f1a6.html

August gardening tips for the Fort Smith region

August in Arkansas can be a tough time for gardeners. It can also be a time to get more out of your garden than you imagined. It just takes a bit more effort and a few more tasks.

But the No. 1 priority is, take care of the gardener: Wear sunscreen, avoid gardening in the hottest part of the day, use a mosquito repellant in late afternoon and keep hydrated.

Tips for the garden include:

• Deadhead perennials and annuals for continued blooming until the first frost. Remove fallen or decaying leaves that can harbor disease and insect pests over the winter.

• Select and order bulbs from catalogues for planting this fall. In regard to bulb size, biggest is usually best.

• Start your fall vegetable garden. Sow seeds of cool weather crops (such as carrots, parsley, radishes, Swiss chard and lettuce) and plant fall vegetable seedlings (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts).

• Continue to feed summer annuals and container plants with a complete fertilizer such as 20-20-20.

• Dig, divide and replant bearded iris rhizomes and perennials.

• Water lawns early in the morning to avoid excess evaporation. Use sprinkler that produces large drops of water instead of a fine mist.

• Continue to be on the lookout for signs of crapemyrtle bark scale — easily identified as black sooty mold on leaves and trunk and patches of white felt-like specks on trees or branches.

• Give spring-flowering shrubs their final feeding of 2017.

• Continue to feed chrysanthemums until their buds swell and begin to open for fall show of color.

• A new layer of mulch or organic matter will help keep down weeds and hold in moisture.

• Select a cool day for preparing your fall planter beds. Cultivate the soil at least 12 inches deep, work in a 2-3-inch layer of organic matter or compost, and add a small amount of balanced fertilizer.

Lance Kirkpatrick is the Sebastian County Cooperative Extension agent. Have questions about lawn, garden or other horticulture related issues? The Sebastian County Extension Service can help with offices in Barling and Greenwood. Call (479) 484-7737 for answers to horticulture questions.

Article source: http://www.arkansasnews.com/entertainmentlife/20170803/august-gardening-tips-for-fort-smith-region

Tips on keeping rodents out of your garden

Gardeners struggle with a lot of problems, from uncooperative weather to faulty irrigation, but perhaps the biggest trouble gardeners say they have is keeping rodents out of the garden and away from the harvest.

Contra Costa Master Gardener Steven Griffin says there are ways to minimize the damage and the frustration. Here are some of his tips:

  • First, identify what the pest is. Looks for signs, such as feces, mounds of soil, tunnels and indications something has gnawed an opening into your home or garden shed.
  • Next, look at your yard and garden with a critical eye. Identify what about the space rodents find so attractive. Do you have a water source for them, or have pet food sitting out? Do you have a wood pile or ground cover where rodents might take up residency? Sometimes just having a garden is plenty to attract rodents.
  • After you’ve figured out what rodent is causing the problems and why it’s coming into your house and garden, you need to come up with a plan for controlling the creatures that is based on the rodent’s natural biology and habits, and that will ensure you don’t damage the environment or unintentionally kill other animals.
  • Exclusion is usually a key in controlling rodents. Patch holes where they are getting in, install fences, consider an electric fence, install hardware cloth to stop animals from burrowing under fences and getting into your garden beds.
  • Take steps to make your yard less attractive to them.
  • Use deadly tactics as a last resort. Set traps for rats, mice, gophers and ground squirrels, but do not use poisons that too often kill other animals.
  • Choose the right trap for the animal and follow directions on how to use them.

Rats

Rats are among the biggest intruders in the garden. They are called commensal animals, meaning they are not only comfortable living with humans, they are somewhat dependent upon us.

  • The Bay Area is home to two common rats, roof and Norway rats.
  • Roof rats are particularly adept at climbing and if you find rats inside your home, they usually are roof rats. You can identify them by their tail, which is longer than their body, and their smaller size. They are agile and often nest above ground in trees, walls, cabinets, false ceilings and attics.
  • Norway rats can climb but they tend to stay closer to the ground. Their tails are shorter than their body length and the rats have a stockier build. They have a preference for trash piles, wood piles and basements.
  • We also have house mice. They nest in walls, drawers and cabinets, and are more likely to be sneaking around the kitchen in search of food.
  • Good housekeeping, Griffin says, can keep most rat and mouse populations down. Fix door seeps, plug entry holes, screen attic vents and vents around the building foundation. Pick up pet food after every meal, and seal food in sturdy plastic of metal containers.
  • Trapping with snap or electronic traps is the best method for controlling rats and mice. Do not use poison baits, Griffin says, because of the danger that the dying rodent will be eaten by a predator and pass on the poison. The rodent also might die inside a wall or under the house, which will create a smelly problem.
  • Bait rat traps with nuts or sticky candy tied to the trigger with twist ties, wire or zip ties. Bait mouse traps with peanut butter or a soft, sticky candy such as caramel.

Gophers

Gophers can do a lot of damage in a garden and landscape, and judging by the damage and the number of tunnels, you might think you’ve got dozens of the creatures. Gophers, however, are solitary, territorial creatures so chances are, you’ve only got one in your yard.

  • Gophers live mostly underground, feeding on roots and tubers. They do, however, come up above ground, usually at night, to feed on plants, fruits and vegetables.
  • Gophers are not known for their climbing skills, so low hanging vegetables are their biggest targets.
  • The first indication you have a gopher is the presence of mounds. They are crescent shaped with a plugged hole in the middle. The tunnel will radiate out from the crescent and angle down about a foot.
  • Having an owl in the neighborhood can help naturally control gophers, although you can’t always count on that, and even the most talented owl can’t get all of the gophers.
  • Use a heavy wire mesh, such as hardware cloth, under raised beds, and bury the wire 2 feet deep around the garden, connecting it to a perimeter fence.
  • If you use gopher traps, practice setting the trap before you place it. Cinch traps, Maccabee traps and box traps are the most popular styles.
  • Choosing the right spot to place the trap is the key to success. Knock down all of the mounds and keep an eye out for a new one. Once you see one, dig out the mound and locate the main tunnel. Place two traps in the tunnel, facing other, with a string or wire attached and secured above ground with a stake. Cover the hole with cardboard or plywood, and seal the edges with soil. Wait a couple of days before lifting the cover and checking the traps.
  • If the gopher detects an opening in the mound, it will plug it up, which is why you want to recover the mound so the gopher won’t trip the trap by pushing dirt ahead of it. By using cardboard or plywood, you cover the hole and save yourself having to redig the hole to check the traps.

Moles

Moles are insectivores so they rarely cause any damage to the plants, fruit and vegetables. Their tunnels are unsightly, however, and their burrowing in search of worms and grubs, can create air pockets around roots and kill some plants.

Use the same exclusion methods for moles as you do for gophers. Trapping is difficult.

Meadow voles

Meadow voles, also known as meadow mice, can be a problem in the landscape, Griffin says, but the small, mouse-sized creatures rarely enter your home.

  • Protect trees with tree guards and trim ground cover and shrubs away from the base of trees, allowing predators — hawks and owls — to capture them.
  • If you need to trap, use unbaited mouse traps and place them in the above ground runways the voles create.

Squirrels

  • Tree squirrels can be nuisances if they are feeding on your fruit or nesting in your attic. Exclusion is best for controlling them.
  • You can trap and kill squirrels if they are damaging your property, but one species of squirrels — the gray squirrel — is a protected animal and special permission from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is required before trapping.
  • Tree squirrels cannot be poisoned, and you cannot trap and relocate them. If captured in live traps, they must either be killed or released where they were trapped.
  • Ground squirrels are much more destructive than their tree-dwelling relatives. They burrow under fences, roads, foundations and utilities, and will destroy a garden very quickly.
  • While tree squirrels nest in trees, ground squirrels dig burrows that are open at the entrances and exits.
  • Electric wire fences are effective against ground squirrels if paired with an underground barrier that goes at least 2 feet down.

Next time in the garden, attracting butterflies to your garden. Our Garden offers free gardening classes at 10 a.m. Wednesdays through October. The garden is at Shadelands Drive and Wiget Avenue in Walnut Creek.

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/08/03/tips-on-keeping-rodents-out-of-your-garden/

Garden designer Chip Callaway: ‘I love this town’

Chip Callaway’s gardens grow around private homes from Nantucket to Palm Beach, and around public venues from the Alexander Graham Bell House in Washington, D.C., to the Greensboro Historical Museum. He operates out of side-by-side bungalows — one home, one office — in Greensboro’s historic Fisher Park.

Article source: http://www.greensboro.com/1808greensboro/style/garden-designer-chip-callaway-i-love-this-town/article_8cca9a35-45ee-55c6-a2c2-4f40f5440f88.html

Woman’s Club of Tewksbury Township spearheads creation of native pollinator garden

TEWKSBURY — In 2016, Dawn Pogosaew, a Tewksbury resident and Woman’s Club of Tewksbury Township Conservation Department Chair, began a three-year service project on behalf of the club to establish a Native Pollinator Garden at the Pascale Farm Park-Tewksbury Arboretum in Califon.  

Located next to the Tewksbury Elementary School, the land has a diverse geographic environment, two ponds, dry meadows and woodlands.  The objective of the project is to create an outdoor environmental classroom for students, organizations and community members.

Working with the New Jersey Strike Team, the Native Plant Society of Hunterdon County and Forget Me Not Garden Design’s proprietor Sandy Phelps, a plan was formulated to create the park. Haydon Hull, former superintendent of the Public Works Department, improved the garden’s hardscape with a “reading wall” where one can sit to read or contemplate; a brick path through the meadows is also being constructed.

READ: Tewksbury Historical Society showcases Carriage House improvements

READ: Tewksbury teen honored by Yankees

READ: Women’s Club of Tewksbury hosts meet and greet

With plants donated by Back to Nature and community members, plus those purchased from Wild Ridge Nursery and the Archewilde Native Nursery, the garden is in progress.  The Girl Scouts of Lebanon Township, working on their Silver Awards, planted plant plugs, labeled plants, created stepping stone paths, built bluebird houses, a bat house and small kiosks throughout the garden.

The third-grade Girl Scouts from Tewksbury also helped plant plugs, weed and water the garden.

Plans continue for the cataloging of wildflowers found on the property, removal of invasive plants and restoration of native plants throughout the trails of the park.  Many smaller trails are to be established.

This is just one of many projects being pursued by WCTT, a service club giving back to the community where needed. Open to any woman 18 years or older living in Tewksbury or the surrounding area, information about the club may be had by visiting its www.tewksburywomansclub.com/ or calling 908-509-1855.  

Meetings are conducted the first Tuesday of the month, unless otherwise noted, at the Oldwick Manor, behind the firehouse.
 

Article source: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/life/announcements/2017/08/02/womans-club-tewksbury-township-spearheads-creation-native-pollinator-garden/519667001/

Pupils scoop top prize in garden design competition (From Herald …

NATURE-loving pupils at Stanford in the Vale Primary School defeated hundreds of youngsters in a competition to design the perfect fruit and vegetable patch.

It rounds off a summer of success for the school’s gardening club, which won gold at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) garden in Wisley, Surrey, and was nominated for RHS Gardening Team of the Year 2017.

The youngsters were crowned champions of Wilkinson Sword’s Gardening for Schools competition, which challenged primary schoolchildren to design the ideal fruit and vegetable garden for their school.

Earlier this month, representatives from the company visited the school to meet the talented children and provide them with their prize; an extensive hamper full of all the tools they need to keep their garden growing.

Diana Thomas, proud mum of garden club siblings Imogen, nine, and Joel, six, said both children attend the club every Wednesday, as well as tending to their own allotment.

She said: “I am extremely proud that all of their hard work is paying off.”

Ms Thomas added that her children love growing their own fruit and vegetables, and are eager to start using the new tools.

Helping to present the prizes was the 2012 RHS Young Gardener of the Year, Lucas Hatch, who also provided a fig growing masterclass.

Lucas is just 13-years-old but already has a wealth of experience under his belt and knows all about encouraging children to garden, spending a lot of time at his old primary school in Suffolk helping children to develop their gardens.

Sue Finney, who runs the school’s gardening club, said: “It is a great honour that Stanford in the Vale Gardening Club members have become overall winners of this award.

“The children’s garden designs shall be used to revamp our growing area with the help of our new tools.”

The club operates once a week, as an after-school activity, and many children still attend after they have moved on from the primary school.

The children have a strong commitment to their community and plant up the borders at the entrance to the village every year.

Nick Hills, garden division general manager for Wilkinson Sword, said: “We had no idea how popular this would be, or quite how high the quality of applicants would be, but the judges were so impressed with the standard of design that the Stanford in the Vale children came up with, choosing them as the winner was an easy decision.

“They impressed all of the judges with their imaginative and competent design.”

Article source: http://www.heraldseries.co.uk/news/15443741.Pupils_scoop_top_prize_in_garden_design_competition/?ref=rss

Real Estate, Design, and Landscaping Experts Dish on How to Keep Your Backyard in Great Shape

Wondering how best to feather your nest? Don’t neglect the outdoor areas. Our panel of East End real estate, design, and landscaping wizards shares the latest trends.

Listed by Mala Sander, 27 Cooks Lane in Bridgehampton features gorgeous landscape design by Jack deLashmet, highlighted by an 18-by-45-foot Pebble Tec pool with saline filtration.

This week, our panel of local experts features real estate pros Tim O’Connor and Mala Sander, pool guru Ian Fyffe, builder Ron Friedman, landscaper Michael Derrig, and interior designer Zoe Hoare. Read on for highlights of their up-front conversation about what’s new in the backyard.

What does outdoor living mean to your clients?
Mala Sander:
If I were to show two houses, one with beautiful outdoor living spaces already set up and one that was just grass and a pool, they’d be like, “Wait, where’s the patio, where’s the outdoor fireplace and kitchen?” Even if that one was priced less, most would go for the one that was already done, because it reflects how they see themselves living in the Hamptons.
Michael Derrig: Husbands, especially, will say, “I don’t go inside. I stay outside under the pool house or arbor. I spend all my time here. I shower here.” It’s amazing how much time they spend in the backyard.
Tim O’Connor: A lot of clients want bigger doors that open up, so inside and outside intersect. Every chance they get, it’s like, “Where are the exits? How quickly can you get out?”

What about the idea of outdoor “rooms”?
MD:
People need to be concerned about overprogramming them with pizza ovens and grills and fire pits. I try to make them disappear in a green landscape.
Ian Fyffe: I don’t want to see all that stuff until I want to use it. MS: But some people do. It’s part of the prestige of having those things.
TO: It’s a trophy to people.
MD: That’s too bad. You gotta try and educate them that it’s not a good look.

A recent spa project in Southampton from Ian Fyffe’s Harbor Hot Tubs and Sparkling Pools.

What are people spending on these things now?
MD:
A lot of money.
TO: It’s not an afterthought anymore.
Zoe Hoare: Yes, it’s not going down to Kmart and picking out a few blue-and-white waterproof cushions. Now you go to your decorator and say, “I want performance outdoor fabrics, and I want trim, and I want some tassels, because my Fendi handbag has tassels, so I want to go bohemian outside.” Performance fabrics are as fashion-forward as fabrics we live with indoors, fabrics we wear.
Ron Friedman: For one house, we just ordered all cushionless outdoor lounges and couches.
ZH: I don’t like the sound of that!
RF: It’s very soft, almost like a mesh but very comfortable. Your body leans into it.
MS: By the pool, when you get out wet, you get on that and it doesn’t matter.
IF: With pool covers, they’re [using] some of those fabrics instead of that pleather finish. And a self-contained hot tub doesn’t have to be ugly.
RF: On most houses, we design phantom screens that come down; you want to make sure you feel comfortable with the door open all day. It used to be a real luxury, and now it’s almost a must-have.

This poolside pergola, designed by Landscape Details, creates an idyllic setting you’ll never want to leave.

Are your customers telling you about trends they’ve seen?
TO:
People come with interesting ideas but think it’s all going to happen in half an hour, like on those thousands of design shows on TV.
ZH: Yes, a “daykover.”
RF: I also think it’s what they’re seeing in the resorts they go to.
ZH: That’s where the bar outside came from— the hotel.
IF: I haven’t seen a more consumer-driven product than saltwater pools. I’m not a fan; it’s too corrosive. Our basic pool maintenance gives you a low level of chlorine— bottled-water quality— without having to use the salt.
TO: I’m finding if customers don’t see something, they can’t envision it. We have a home that’s new construction, unstaged, and we’re going to Photoshop it. Then you see a lot of homes built in the early ’90s—“Dynasty homes,” with the double-height ceilings, the grand staircase. No one can sell them because they’re just too big. One street has seven of them! People want the space, but they want it to feel more intimate.
MS: The pendulum swings so dramatically. I sold a six-year-old home to people who then tore it down because it just wasn’t the [current] design—and believe me, it wasn’t priced as a teardown. They ripped it down and built a beautiful modern home. Overall, I’m seeing that clean trend, the clean box.
ZH: Less cluttered.

How does that modernism translate outdoors?
MS:
Very easily. You have doors that slide open, so a simple room opens to beautiful “rooms” outside.
ZH: Outdoor lighting. You can buy a tree that’s worth the same as a small Picasso, so you’d better light it at night and make it a piece of art.
MD: Gardens are less fussy, with less flowers, more simple lines. Also just simplifying the landscape, so it has longevity: People forget how big plants should be. If you want to keep a 12-foot shrub at three feet for 20 years, it’s going to look like a green meatball.

One personal question: Where do you go when you want to be outdoors?
RF: I use my outdoor cooking area constantly, even in the winter.
MD: I’m an early riser, so I saw the sunrise this morning at the beach.
IF: Pretty much anywhere outside is fine. The stars early this morning were just amazing. They were from the horizon line all the way around.
MS: People will say, “Oh, it’s winter, come down to Florida.” I’ll be packing my bags in the morning, and I see this beautiful light and beautiful sky. It’s like being on vacation all the time. Why am I going?

Article source: https://hamptons-magazine.com/real-estate-experts-talk-improving-your-garden