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Archives for August 12, 2017

Gardening: Harvesting tips for winter bounty

Here it is, early August and I’ve just picked my first tomatoes, but I’m already thinking about winter. No, I don’t anticipate frost until mid-October or later, but I depend on my garden to feed me much of the year. So I start early getting food processed for storage. I freeze, dehydrate, can and store veggies for winter. Let’s look at tricks you can use to save you time and labor as you save your harvest.

Here it is, early August and I’ve just picked my first tomatoes, but I’m already thinking about winter. No, I don’t anticipate frost until mid-October or later, but I depend on my garden to feed me much of the year. So I start early getting food processed for storage. I freeze, dehydrate, can and store veggies for winter. Let’s look at tricks you can use to save you time and labor as you save your harvest.

Tomatoes are key to almost any soup, stew or stir fry I make, and I don’t want to be buying tomatoes in February, or to depend on cans of sauce processed in factories in California. I want to cook with tomatoes that I grew myself, or that are from a local farmer I trust.

If you grow just a few tomato plants for sandwiches and salads, or even if you planted a half-dozen “Romas” for making some sauce, you can have a wealth of tomatoes for freezing if you talk to your local farmer. Most sell “field grade” or “canners” by the bushel at very reasonable prices. They are not as pretty as top grade fruits, but I’ve bought a bushel — 50 pounds — in years when my own crop succumbed early to blight.

Many farmers now grow tomatoes in hoop houses which means they get tomatoes earlier than we do, and they largely avoid blight. So there are times when farmers are practically swimming in tomatoes. That’s when to buy them.

What can you do with 50 pounds of tomatoes? I would freeze most of them. Wash and dry the fruit, then fit them into freezer-grade plastic bags, not storage bags. Freezer-grade bags cost just pennies more per bag, but are much better for the job.

Suck out any excess air from the bags with a common drinking straw. Just close the bag 99% of the way, suck out the air and snap it closed with 2 fingers — just as you pull out the straw.

Later, to get them ready for use, I run each frozen tomato under hot water while rubbing it gently so that the skin comes right off. After I set it aside for 5 minutes until it softens enough for me to cut out the stem attachment point. Then I quarter it, chop it, and put it in the pan.

If you like to make homemade sauce but hate the canning process, just freeze it. Cook up your tomatoes with fresh herbs and onions, and let it cool. Then pack in freezer bags or plastic containers.

I’ve had both front-opening freezers and chest freezers, and I recommend the front-opening ones. It is easy to lose track of what is buried in the bottom of the chest-type freezers. But you’ll find the last bag of kale if it’s on a shelf where you can easily see it. And after a year or two in a freezer, food loses its flavor and often becomes unappealing.

I use my less-perfect tomatoes for paste, which I freeze in ice cube trays. To make paste, I wash tomatoes, and then core them with a paring knife. I squeeze out the seeds and extra juice, which makes for less boiling time and fewer seeds. Then I quarter them and puree them, skins and all, in my food processor.

I cook the puree at low heat in a big enameled cast iron pot (which helps prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot). I know it’s done when I can literally stand up a soup spoon in the paste — after 3 hours or more. I let it cool overnight (or 8 hours) with the cover off the pot, allowing a little more moisture to evaporate. Then I spoon the paste into the ice cubes trays. After they are frozen, I remove the cubes and put them in freezer bags.

Most years I dehydrate several bags of “sun-dried tomatoes”. Except they aren’t sun-dried. They are dried in an electric food dryer. Mostly I dry cherry tomatoes — a variety called “Sun Gold”. I cut them in half and place them face up on the screens. It takes from 12 to 24 hours to do a batch, depending on which kind of machine you use, and how juicy your tomatoes are.

I have two brands of dryers, a NESCO American Harvester and an Excalibur. The Excalibur uses less electricity (660 watts per hour vs. 1,000 watts per hour) and is more efficient because the flow of hot air goes across the drying screens, not from top to bottom as the NESCO dryer does. But it costs roughly three times as much, depending on the model. Both brands are very good.

I also use my dehydrators to dry apples, pears, hot peppers and more. I especially like drying hot peppers because I can get them brittle, and then grind them up in my coffee grinder. That allows me to just add a little in a dish — or a lot if I’m not having company.

So don’t wait until fall. Start putting up food for winter like the proverbial squirrel. Winter is just around the corner.

— Henry Homeyer’s blog appears twice a week at dailyuv.com/gardeningguy. His email is henry.homeyer@comcast.net.

Article source: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20170811/gardening-harvesting-tips-for-winter-bounty

Home & Gardening Tips

In their eternal quest to add a ‘special’ something to their houses, homeowners are turning the clock back – literally. Enter furniture and decoration pieces from the Raj era that is now enjoying a resurgence of sorts. From marble statues, furniture, porcelain vases to chandeliers to earthenware – it’s all about a blast from the past.

Oldies but goodies

With nostalgia as the guiding light, design enthusiasts are collecting furniture from the 40s and 50s. What drives the trend forward is the charm of owning an original handmade one-of-its-kind piece in this era of mass-manufactured replicas and brand new “antiques”.

Interior designer Manjeet Bhullar feels that heirloom pieces have sentiments attached to them, and says, “Most professional and DIY decorators are mixing antique items from different eras and styles. People want their homes to have style, grace and history.”


Nostalgia, anyone?



Be it Mughal era artefacts, charkha from the 1940s, vintage clocks – everyone is eager to showcase heirloom pieces. Cultural historian Navina Jafa says, “Nobody wants to discard their grandfather’s silver, black and white photographs or straight-line furniture. If the piece has been in the family for years it reflects the history of the family.”

The added advantage is that vintage furniture from the pre-independence era has better workmanship. To give it a home in your house, Jafa says what works is mixing the old with the new.

Everyone wants to own an original handmade one-of-its-kind piece

Article source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/home-garden/history-in-your-home/articleshow/60001463.cms

This week’s gardening tips: Keep debris out of storm drains, plant fall tomato plants

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Article source: http://www.nola.com/homegarden/index.ssf/2017/08/this_weeks_garden_tips_storm_d.html

Non-toxic tips to keep animals from eating your garden

Posted

August 13, 2017 08:00:00


Photo:

Keeping hungry possums out of your garden is no easy feat. (ABC Open contributor wildheartadventuresaustralia)

As winter slowly comes to a close and your garden comes back to life, the battle between green thumbs and hungry animals begins anew.

“They’re a massive problem,” Greg Kerin, owner of a plant nursery, told Nick Bosly-Pask on ABC Radio Hobart.


Photo:

The best way to keep birds and animals out of the garden is with physical barriers. (Flickr: Doug Beckers)

“We start seeing these sorts of problems at this time of year, particularly with birds and mice, because it’s early spring and they start shredding vegetables, kale, herbs, that sort of thing.”

Mr Kerin said not a day goes by without someone coming to his nursery, complaining of animals eating their plants and looking for ways to stop them.

Over the years he has heard and tried a number of deterrents.

And while you may never stop them all, these are some tried and true things you can do to stem the tide of ravenous critters in your garden.

Stink it up

If you and your neighbours can handle it, making the area smell really bad keeps nibblers away.


Photo:

Rotting blood and bone will keep native wildlife away — and maybe everyone else too. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)

“The best thing to use is blood and bone,” Mr Kerin said.

“If you get a stocking and fill the bottom of the stocking with blood and bone and hang it in a tree … it will go a bit rank — but it will deter some of the native wildlife.”

Liquid seaweed fertilisers also produce a smell herbivores do not like, but liquids will need to be repeatedly added as they wash off in the rain.

Fence it off

Physically preventing the animals from getting to the plants can be more nose-friendly.

“A lot of people build cages for their fruit and vegetables,” Mr Kerin said.

To stop possums, a loose, wobbly fence is a good idea.

“They like climbing on quite rigid structures, so if it does wobble they’ll fall off,” he said.


Photo:

Wire cages over your plants will keep big nibblers away, but not the tiny ones. (Flickr: Michelle)

Bird netting can deter possums too as they cannot climb it, but be aware netting is easy for them to break through.

To stop digging animals, wire should be planted about 30 centimetres into the ground.

And special small mesh wire can be bought that will stop mice getting through.

Grow a barrier of plants


Photo:

Growing plants animals don’t like to eat near the ones they do will deter them somewhat. (666 ABC Canberra: Louise Maher)

There are some plants the native wildlife, in particular, do not like to eat and these can be used as a natural deterrent.

Natural possum deterrents

Keep possums out of your garden environmentally.

Planting agapanthus, citronella varieties, lavender and rosemary bushes around your veggie patch may help keep the wallabies away.

“Does it deter them? Yes, it will to a certain extent, but not completely,” Mr Kerin said.

And while it can be heartbreaking to see the local possum has feasted on your hard labours before you got a look in, dealing with wildlife is just a part of gardening.

“You’ve really got to live with them,” Mr Kerin said.

“Plan around them and just deal with it.”

Topics:

gardening,

animals,

hobart-7000



More
stories from Tasmania

Article source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-13/tips-to-keep-animals-from-eating-your-garden/8788746

Garden tips for August

By Ray Ridlen

• Water all plantings thoroughly unless rainfall has been adequate. It is better to water more in depth, less often and early in the morning.

• The fall vegetable garden is planted now.

• Divide and replant spring blooming perennials like irises, peonies and daylilies, if needed.

• Irrigated warm-season lawns may be fertilized again.

• Hedges and shrubs can be pruned, if necessary, about mid-August.

• Young trees and shrubs may be fertilized again.

• Discontinue dead-heading roses by mid-August to help initiate winter hardiness.

• Brown patch disease of cool-season grasses can be a problem.

• Meet water requirements of turf.

• For areas being converted to tall fescue this fall, begin spraying bermudagrass with glyphosate products in early-August.

• White grub damage can become visible this month. Apply appropriate soil insecticide if white grubs are a problem. Water product into soil.

• Watch for a second generation of fall webworm in late August/early-September.

• Pre-emergent herbicides for winter-annual weed control in warm-season grasses can be applied in late-August. Water in the product after application.

General

Water your compost during extremely dry periods so that it remains active.

Always follow directions on both synthetic and natural pesticide products.

Watch for high populations of caterpillars, aphids, spider mites, thrips, scales and other insects on plant material in the garden and landscape and treat as needed.

Fall fescue should be mowed at 3” during the hot summers and even up to 3 ½“ if growing under heavier shade. Warm season lawns like Bermudagrass and Zoysia-garass should be gradually raised to around 2” to 2 ½” to better adjust for heat stress and the onset of fall.

Avoid late applications of fertilizer on woody plants at this time. The next best time to fertilize woody plants will be mid to late October.

Vegetables

August is a good month to start your fall vegetable garden. Bush beans, cucumbers and summer squash can be replanted for another crop. Beets, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, lettuce and other cool season crops can also be planted at this time.

Soak vegetable seed overnight prior to planting. Once planted, cover them with compost to avoid soil crusting. Mulching will keep planting bed moist and provide shade during initial establishment of vegetables. Monitor and control insect pests that prevent a good start of plants in your fall garden.

Article source: http://www.hpj.com/horticulture/garden-tips-for-august/article_af616a9f-c047-505f-8520-b07bbd51bc46.html

In the Garden: Tips help homeowners transform existing landscapes – The Spokesman

It’s fair to say that downsizing from 10 acres to a standard city lot would be an adjustment for anyone – but especially for two dedicated gardeners. Kurt Madison and his wife, Margot Casstevens, have turned that adjustment into a learning experience that others can benefit from.

Madison and Casstevens are both professional artists and fine art instructors at Spokane Falls Community College. He first became interested in gardening in the 1970s while living in Austin, Texas.

“I had a large circle of friends and we tended to do everything cooperatively,” he explained. “We rototilled everybody’s yards and grew organic vegetables.”

After relocating to Chicago, he became certified as a Master Gardener. The couple later moved to Scotland for three years, where Madison learned estate gardening and English gardening techniques. Following that, they moved to Indiana for another three years and eventually moved to a 10-acre property in south Greenacres in 2000. They’ve been in the Spokane area ever since.

“We had a big lawn and planted huge swaths of plants,” he said of their Greenacres garden. “Deer and other pests were a problem and watering everything was a challenge.”

Three years ago, they moved to a small South Hill lot. Other than missing how peaceful it was on their rural property, Madison is happy with the change.

“Overall, there are less obligations,” he said. “I have an irrigation system now and am really pleased that I can water everything with 50 feet of hose. And it’s nice not to have to deal with deer anymore.”

They have been gradually transforming the previous owner’s landscape into their new garden. First on the list was removing quaking aspen trees that were taking over the backyard. They also had a large fir tree removed and expanded the planting beds.

Madison and Casstevens are building an attractive fence around their backyard that incorporates a pergola for wisteria to grow on. They’ve added new plants as well.

“We are specimen-driven so want to have plants that folks aren’t used to seeing,” Madison said. “We want fragrance and a visually intriguing garden.”

Putting their unique stamp on the landscape has allowed Madison to formulate tips for others who have recently moved, or are contemplating a move:

“Try to leave the existing landscape alone for a year. See what’s there. You have no idea how many tulips are in the ground and you need a year to understand what’s going to come up. However, you do need to get rid of any egregious faults such as dead or troublesome trees.

“The next step is to clean the ‘lines’ of the garden such as pathways and edges of beds. That doesn’t necessarily refer to straight lines; it could be rounded or undulating lines that define areas of the garden. Cleaning them up can do amazing things to any garden environment.

“Eliminate plants that could be a problem or types you don’t personally care for.

“Remember that you save money, time and effort – and get better quality – by creating a master plan. Measure your property and call 811 to locate utilities before you do any digging. When you draw up plans, it’s so much easier to visualize what you have in mind.”

In addition to providing these pointers, Kurt Madison enjoys doing garden design consultations. He can be contacted via email at kraymn@icloud.com.

Susan Mulvihill is co-author of “Northwest Gardener’s Handbook” with Pat Munts. Contact her at Susan@susansinthegarden.com and follow her at facebook.com/susansinthegarden. View this week’s “Everyone Can Grow A Garden” video at youtube.com/c/susansinthegarden.

Article source: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/aug/12/in-the-garden-tips-help-homeowners-transform-exist/

VIDEO: Where Mastectomy Scars Raged, A Tattoo Garden Blooms

Within weeks of being diagnosed with breast cancer at 29 years old, Nicole O’Hara of Phoenix, Md., underwent a double mastectomy. She had breast reconstruction during the same operation; then it was on to chemotherapy.

The ordeal left O’Hara with “big, ugly, red inflamed scars and stitches and drains,” she says.

“It [was] a battlefield.”

After Nicole O’Hara was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29, she had a double mastectomy. The surgery left her with scarring that she decided to cover with an artistic tattoo.

Meredith Rizzo/NPR


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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

After Nicole O’Hara was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29, she had a double mastectomy. The surgery left her with scarring that she decided to cover with an artistic tattoo.

Meredith Rizzo/NPR

The scars spread across her chest where the incisions were made and the chemo port was placed. As she healed at home, those scars remained.

“To be reminded of those every time you look in the mirror can be hard,” she says. “You’re trying to move past that point in your life.”

O’Hara’s plastic surgeon laid out the reconstruction options: She could have nipples built from her own skin or areola and nipple shading tattooed to look like the real thing. But instead of re-creating what she had lost, she decided to do something more artistic.

She worked with a friend to design a tattoo and, four years after the mastectomy surgery, took it to Lisa Doll, the owner of Rose Red Tattoo in Ellicott City, Md. Doll specializes in tattooing over scar tissue that is often discolored, uneven and thinner than normal skin, making it difficult to hold pigmentation. The skin typically needs at least a year to heal before it’s ready. And even then, scarring may be too extensive.

O’Hara’s tattoo required three sessions with Lisa Doll to complete the line work and color shading. Doll says that clients “get these tattoos to represent things about themselves. It becomes an empowering thing for them, an expressive thing.”

Meredith Rizzo and Morgan McCloy/NPR


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Meredith Rizzo and Morgan McCloy/NPR

O’Hara’s tattoo required three sessions with Lisa Doll to complete the line work and color shading. Doll says that clients “get these tattoos to represent things about themselves. It becomes an empowering thing for them, an expressive thing.”

Meredith Rizzo and Morgan McCloy/NPR

But a tattoo can be an empowering option for people who have had a mastectomy, Doll says.

“Cancer comes through and does things that they’re not happy with,” she says. “Getting a tattoo over their mastectomy scars puts them in control of their body image.”

Doll says that tattooing isn’t as taboo as it once was. Some post-mastectomy clients bring their whole family to support them.

Morgan McCloy/NPR


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Morgan McCloy/NPR

Doll says that tattooing isn’t as taboo as it once was. Some post-mastectomy clients bring their whole family to support them.

Morgan McCloy/NPR

Doll’s first mastectomy tattoo client came to her through word of mouth. It was an emotional experience and motivated her to want to do more. Since then, she has been active in the breast cancer community, booking clients every month.

“People see it much more as an adornment to their body. It doesn’t have that taboo undertone like it used to,” she says. “They bring their whole family to see the results.”

The art requests range from floral and ornamental to the more risque and lacy, but Doll says that the designs almost always have some personal meaning.

Like the piece O’Hara has tattooed across her chest: a spray of apple blossoms, bluebells, heather, garlic — all symbols from her garden. A black and blue magpie sits off to the right with his wings outstretched.

“I’m a gardener,” she says, “Flowers, birds — it’s where I feel most alive and comfortable.”

She specifically asked for tall lavender lupine flowers to extend up her shoulder in a bra-strap shape so she could tell her story to anyone who happened to see it.

“It’s a reminder that yes, I got through it. I made it.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/12/537066002/video-where-mastectomy-scars-raged-a-tattoo-garden-blooms

Master Gardeners share knowledge on horticulture – The San Diego Union

Nationwide, more than 80,000 volunteer Master Gardeners donate an average of 5.3 million hours a year. Master Gardeners use research-based information to promote environmentally responsible and sustainable horticultural practices in the home, community and school landscapes.

In San Diego County, 307 Master Gardeners literally have their fingers in all kinds of endeavors. In 2015, our local Master Gardeners made 398,150 educational contacts with the public.

San Diego’s Master Gardeners (MGs) are trained by University of California Cooperative Extension specialists and other qualified instructors in home horticulture and pest management. After a six-month program, they are qualified to help the public diagnose and control plant diseases, pests and weeds. At the same time, they help teach how to build healthy soils through composting and proper irrigation and fertilizer use, so that the public can grow healthy perennials, annuals and vegetables.

The UCCE Master Gardener Program of San Diego County began in 1983. Since that time, 18 Master Gardener classes have graduated, and another will follow in 2018. What motivates a new class of MGs? Every MG I interviewed echoed similar sentiments: “I love educating others about my passion for gardening.” “I love interacting with the public.” Every two years, a new class of 48 carefully selected individuals begins its training and then graduates to serve in many committees and programs.

Balboa Park and at the Carlsbad Flower Fields. MGs write and publish a monthly e-newsletter, “Dig It.” They participate in horticultural research activities with UC academics and bring back information to home gardeners via the Master Gardeners’ Hotline, where they answer gardening questions from the public.

MGs have educated parents and teachers and helped establish 190 school gardens. They are responsible for a countywide biannual seminar for teachers who have a garden at their school or want to start one. MGs also volunteer their education and guidance to 100 community gardens throughout the county. Other yearly educational events include the annual public Plantextravaganza (on Sept. 30 this year) and the March Spring Seminar, filled with speakers, plants, free handouts and decorative items for the garden.

An emphasis this year has been placed on accessible gardening for the disabled and the blind in conjunction with the Braille Institute. MGs continue their ongoing Growing Opportunities program by working with incarcerated youths to create vegetable gardens out of empty parking lots, implement garden therapy and teach them about healthful meals.

Most Master Gardeners will tell you that someone in their family was an avid gardener and that they simply followed in their footsteps. Heather Holland, class of 2014 and chair of the School Gardens Committee, relates how her mother was a Master Gardener in Florida. You can often find Heather dispensing advice on the Hotline, collaborating with her peers at in-garden Design Charrettes, or manning an “Ask a Master Gardener” booth at events. Her motivation is educating the younger generation about gardening and helping them develop a nurturing relationship with plants. “Giving back to the community” is her mantra.

Gardening Q & A: Horticulture has many specializations – Virginian

My claim to fame, whatever it might be, is not that of landscape designer. I have never professed to be an expert in that area. In fact, in college, I took only one class in landscape design. Relief is what I felt when the final course project was submitted and graded. It was interesting, but it just wasn’t my thing.

I often have a hard time explaining to folks that horticulture is kind of like medicine – there are areas of specialization. Most people have a doctor who is a general practitioner. He or she may send you to a dermatologist, cardiologist or urologist, if you require expertise/treatment in one of those areas. See where I’m going with this?

For example, floriculture – the culture and marketing of flowers – was my specialization. I can advise you in that area and in operating a greenhouse; that’s my training and where the bulk of my experience lies. I know a bit about turf and trees, but if you require a specialist in those areas, you’d want to see an agronomist or an arborist. And I have some knowledge of fruits and vegetables, but if you want the expert, you’d talk to a pomologist or olericulturist.

But back to landscaping. A landscape designer is a hybrid between artist, plant person, communicator and psychiatrist. They understand the fundamental principles of good design, and they know plants and how specific species respond in different environmental situations. In other words, they know which plants do best in certain situations and are able to choose the best of these that will work together in a good design plan. And, finally, they are able to effectively communicate with clients to determine what their specific needs are, so that the final design meets those requirements and is functional.

I could call myself an artist, but I’m not. I could call myself a designer, but I’m not. Some of those out there that call themselves “landscape designers” may hold credentials from a college or university. And while landscape designers are not licensed, they also may hold green-industry certifications. The Virginia Society of Landscape Designers is one certifying organization.

There are lots of companies and individuals out there providing lawn establishment/maintenance and landscape installation and management services, but I wouldn’t hire one of them to draw up a landscape design without inquiring about their design experience. Many local garden centers have staff with design experience, but, again, ask specifically about that experience.

So, if you require the assistance of a landscape designer, ask about his or her qualifications, and ask to see some of his or her work and references. And as with any other service, remember, “you get what you pay for.”

term of the week

Prop root – an aerial root that arises from the stem or trunk, penetrates the soil and functions in additional support for the plant as well as in normal root functions. By definition, prop roots are also adventitious. They are also known as stilt roots. Some examples include: corn, mangroves and certain species of palm.

questions?

Q. I was hoping you could direct me to some solutions for this mess of a lawn. My husband is an avid gardener, but he insists that nothing will grow under a magnolia tree. True? We live at the Oceanfront, and the soil is hard and mostly sand. – C. Morgan, Virginia Beach

A. My sense is that this is not the answer you want to hear, but I’ll have to agree with your on-site gardener. Your picture shows a large, well-established magnolia with a dense network of shallow surface roots. I think it would be very difficult to establish anything under this tree that would co-exist with it for your purposes. In this situation, it would be practically impossible to properly amend and prepare the soil for any type of turf establishment without disturbing the tree’s roots.

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When the tree was younger, and before it had taken over the area, some understory plants might have had a better opportunity to become established, but at this point, the tree holds most of the cards in the competition for resources. And there may be one other calculation here to consider. In the picture, the tree looks quite close to your house. Is this an issue yet? Magnolias can grow in excess of 75 feet tall, with a spread of more than 40 feet. That’s something to consider going forward. My best advice for improving the appearance of this area is to spruce up by edging and then applying a 2- to 3-inch layer of a decorative mulch.

I don’t sense this by your comments, but if you are in love with magnolias, the cultivar “Little Gem” is a miniature version, in all respects, of the Southern magnolia, that tops out at about 35 feet. Most owners I know have a real love/hate relationship with the Southern magnolia.

and one more thing (or two) …

Last week I asked for recommendations for summer reading. Please keep them coming. Here are three that readers have suggested:

n “The Gardener’s Bed-Book,” Richardson Wright (recommended by S. Butts)

n “Seeds on Ice,” Cary Fowler (recommended by T. Hill, Suffolk)

n “Weeds: In Defense of Nature’s Unloved Plants,” Richard Mabey (recommended by D. Jenkusky, Virginia Beach)

Article source: http://pilotonline.com/life/home/lawn-garden/gardening-q-a-horticulture-has-many-specializations/article_a5e6d3ee-3506-5637-b715-8d0d3db659b8.html

Council talks Veterans Memorial upgrades

Aug

11

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 11, 2017


By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Mabank City Council members heard a number of projects in and around the city’s Veterans memorial that the Sarah Maples Chapter of the Daughters of The American Revolution are willing to help them with. Past-regent Susan Cothran addressed the council with her ideas for improvements. Some are things that can be done right away others were needing further research to make a decision.
City manager Bryant Morris said he would get a trash receptacle stationed near the memorial right away and look into the issue of a water hose being maintained to keep up with the landscaping. Adding another panel for more names under the Army heading was discussed, along with possibly extending the memorial to accommodate more engravings. It was noted that the colored brick used on the memorial is now unavailable.
The city also said they would look into procuring flags representing each of the branches of the military to add color and vitality to the memorial, which may also serve to distract the eye from any mismatched brick should the memorial be extended.
Cothran mentioned that she had spoken with one of the founders of the memorial and learned that installing a bridge to connect the Mabank Pavilion with the memorial for walkers to cross a low, muddy and sometimes watery spot was part of the original plans. She suggested that perhaps this project would be a great one for an Eagle Scout candidate to take on.
Lastly, she noted that the top rows of the engraved panels are being dissolved by the acids found in bird droppings, and asked for ideas to prevent further erosion. Councilman Tyson Adams said there was a product called “Hot Feet” that was a clear nontoxic liquid that when painted on the top of the monument would deter birds from using it as a perch.
Cothran said, the members of DAR are planning on holding a Veterans Day observance on Friday, Nov. 10, since Seven Points will be holding the parade on Saturday, Nov. 11.
In other business, the council members:
• accepted the certified tax rolls from Henderson and Kaufman counties. From Henderson, that total came to $43,311,560 taxable property valuation and from Kaufman County, $157,569,045.
• approved amending two ordinances to reflect modern wording without making any significant changes. And adopted the latest building codes in time to purchase the latest edition of the standards books, which should be good for the next six years.
• heard from Mabank House Authority Director Chrissy Adams announcing she would like to appoint Candace Chappell to the organization’s Board of Directors. “All our policies need to be updated this year, and I need all the seats filled,” she said. The board meets once a quarter.

Article source: http://themonitor.net/blog2/2017/08/11/council-talks-veterans-memorial-upgrades/