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Archives for September 4, 2017

Giving Garden space to be expanded

The Canton library is poised for an entire new look thanks largely to a generous donor who is funding the early efforts to transform the green space behind the building into a discovery area for children.

The plans are an evolution of the current attractions in the space, including a Giving Garden that has provided vegetables for The Community Kitchen since it was started in 2014 and the Butterfly Garden, which was designed as a waystation for the Monarch butterflies the following year.

The proposed concept for the space was done by Nature Explore, which designs research-based outdoor classrooms.  As envisioned, the space will serve as an area where teachers can bring children to enhance the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) component in the school curriculum. There will also be areas where young children can dig in the dirt, play outdoor musical instruments or even perform on the mini stage that will be erected, said Sharon Woodrow, the outgoing director of the Haywood County Public Library.

There’s a giant tree on the edge of the outdoor space that will be surrounded by a deck that can serve as the classroom area for up to 25 students.

“This tree was just too nice to not take advantage of it,” Woodrow said, noting the shaded area near the property’s edge will have tables for picnics or projects.

There will also be quiet areas on the expansive grounds where the public can reflect or read.

Woodrow’s last day on the job will be Sept. 15, but the Canton project is one she hopes to devote volunteer time until it is completed.

“This is my last baby,” she said. “I want to finish up.”

She will be presenting the design and plans to the Haywood County Board of Commissioners at the Sept. 5 scheduled meeting.


  Lyra Cornelison waters plants in the Giving Garden at the Canton library.

Work in the outdoor area at the Canton library branch started in 2014 when the giving garden was started as a collaborative effort between the library, the Master Gardeners and the Haywood County Extension Office. The Monarch butterfly garden was planted in 2015.

In addition to the various fruit and vegetable patches in the space, there is an educational area about compost, and a flower area around parts of the perimeter. All species have a marker denoting their name.

For the expansion, Ann Overbeck provided the lion’s share of the project funding, which was supplemented by a grant from WNC Community Foundation, bringing the available project funding to $54,000. So far, $13,000 has been spent on the project design, a Grace Cathey sculpture that will provide the entryway and survey costs.

“Given the scope of the project, we will need more funds,” Woodrow said.  “That will be my part of my volunteerism — finding more funds or materials to complete the job.”

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September garden club events

September 11, Monday Westchester Garden Club invites you to Fall Paint Night on Monday, September 11 at 6:30pm at the Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs 3640 Colonial Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24018.

The $30.00 cost includes all supplies and refreshments. All are invited. RSVP by September 6 to Patty Smith 540.384.7226.

September 18, Monday Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs presents Nancy Duval, Manager Roanoke County Solid Waste Department will explore all aspects of recycling including what to do with electronics and hazardous materials and creative recycling ideas! Info will be available for surrounding cities and counties. The presentation is Monday, September 18 at 10:30am at the Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs 3640 Colonial Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24018. All are invited. Contact Carol 540.343.4519 for information.

September 23, Saturday The Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs has a plant sale on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 9am-2pm at the Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs 3640 Colonial Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24018.

There will be a variety of plants for sale that are grown by garden club members and are reasonable priced. There will be a Boutique featuring gift items for sale. Your garden tools can be sharped at no cost while you shop. The event is free and all are welcome. Contact Carol at 343.4519 for information.

September 26, Tuesday Westchester Garden Club presents “22Things Your Grandmother Never Told You About Gardening” by David Roos at the Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs 3640 Colonial Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24018 on Tuesday, September 26 at 11am.

David Roos received his design training from the New York Botanical Garden’s Landscape Design program. He has a gardening design and consulting practice and gives lectures on his gardening philosophy. David Roos has his audience smiling and laughing as he emphasizes a hands on approach using common sense practicality in gardening. Refreshments follow his lecture.

The cost is $10.00 per person. All are welcome. RSVP by September 21, 2017 to Patty Smith 540.384.7226.

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Landscapes: When you have rocks, design a rock garden

From the mountains to the desert and back to the Pacific Ocean, Southern California rocks in more ways than one.

Yards, especially in communities hugging the foothills, are filled with them. Anyone who has had a swimming pool installed, or simply gardens, knows the ground below is packed with them. Sometimes playfully called regional “potatoes,” they’ve been distributed by rains by way of alluvial plains and scattered by earthquakes. Instead of hauling them away, some gardeners shrug and say, when you have rocks, make rock gardens.

Rockhound Nancy Bird of La Habra enjoys the thrill of the hunt and the colorful prizes that can be harvested from the earth. She can tell you exactly where to find and collect them, including Bureau of Land Management lands. Best of all, they’re free.

“You can go on to any BLM land and collect a trunk load a day, and most people don’t have a clue,’’ said Bird, a proponent of residents enjoying their public lands. “The Mojave Desert is simply a jewel in our backyard.”

Recreational rockhounding, as it is technically called, is defined as the non-commercial collecting of rocks, minerals and fossils, according to governing laws, rules and regulations. Individuals are allowed to collect “reasonable amounts” of rocks on non-developed recreations sites/areas.

“One great place for large, colorful boulders, easily accessible by a regular car, is to take the Minneola Road exit off I-15, go over the freeway, then any dirt road on the left has plenty. This is past Calico a few miles,’’ she said.

Other good sites include Pisgah Crater (take the Hector Road exit off I-40), which is an extinct volcano with lava rock and agates; Bell Mountain, north of Victorville on Stoddard Mountain Road, which has black jade and verde antique; and the site of Lucky Baldwin’s onetime gold mine outside Big Bear, where chryosocolla can be found. There are barite minerals in Palos Verdes, fossils in Topanga Canyon, actinolite in Wrightwood and snowflake obsidian next to the Salton Sea.

It’s much easier and safer to go with a group, she said. And there are plenty of those. California is home to 120 mineralogical clubs that focus on different aspects of earth science ( Most support field trips, lectures programs and shows.

A veteran collector dating back to her days as a child camping with her family and later in college when a geology class got her hooked, Bird is past president of two local gem and mineral societies as well as the Year Around Garden Club in Whittier. She combines both hobbies in her small yard and offers others advice on how others can do the same. In fact, she’s lecturing on the subject Sept. 14 at the Los Angeles Arboretum. Her presentation is appropriately called, “Garden Rocks.”

“You can buy rocks, but I get bored with white and black ones, which are the most common,” she said. “I like the shiny, sparkly ones, the reds, oranges and yellows. (A red jasper) will stand next to a plant and provide just as much interest and dimension to a landscape as a plant will.

“Rocks and geology are science, which is never-ending learning,’’ she added. “That’s what I love about rock collecting and what I love about horticulture, a science, too. I think we don’t have enough love of science in this world. It’s what makes our world.”

Bird loves sharing her interests at gem and mineral shows, especially with young people. “I love to give rocks to kids,” she said. “They love them. Too many people tell kids, what do you need with another rock? I say getting more rocks should be encouraged and not discouraged. Children don’t realize that rocks are a part of science. There is no such thing as too many rocks.”

In her upcoming class, Bird will provide handouts on rules and resources for those ready to get digging along with maps. And she’ll discuss three types of rocks – sedimentary (sandstone, for example), igneous (volcanic) and metamorphic (those that have changed).

Once you have your rocks, then what? Dominic Masiello of DP Environments, a landscape design company in Arcadia, says to use them strategically in your yard. They can become natural focal points, adding height and texture to bland landscapes. Consider them to line pathways and to take the place of mulch, he said.

“Another great way to use rock is by creating accent ribbons through hardscape,” Masiello said. “This technique softens up expansive concrete patios and pathways by breaking it up visually with a different texture.’’ For example, using a darker colored rock around a lightly colored concrete creates not only adds texture, but dramatic color contrast, giving the landscape a professionally designed aesthetic.

Dry stream beds also have become an increasingly popular element in landscapes. Using various sizes of rocks and gravel to mimick a stream provides an organic feel that works well with a California native garden. Choosing the right plants, of course, also is important.

“Smaller gravel can be a great filler in between gaps of natural flagstone patios and pathways,” Masiello said. “It provides contrast to the flagstone as well as a porous joint for drainage. For this reason, flagstone paths and patios that are dry-set, meaning set without using a concrete sub-base and set with gravel instead, are becoming more desired.”

Garden Rocks with Nancy Bird and hosted by Matt-Dell and Rebecca Tufenkian

When: 9:30 a.m.-noon, Sept. 14

Where: Palm Room at the Los Angeles Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia

Cost: $25; register beforehand or pay at the door

Information: 626-821-4623



Majesta M’s A to Z Jewelry Supply, 6991 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach; 714-292-3653, also on Facebook and Pinterest

Nevada Mineral Book Co., 342 S. Tustin St., Orange; 714-633-1549; Sells a variety of earth science publications.

Mining Supply and Rock Shop, 9565 C Ave., Suite K, Hesperia; 760-244-9642; Offers classes and single-day field trips, $40 for six consecutive trips once a month.

Bureau of Land Management,




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Networx: Kitchen remodel ideas: Myth vs. Fact

My next-door neighbor and I had our first disagreement last night. The subject: Kitchen Remodel: To Do or Not to Do? We live side by side, each in a condo with an identical very, very 90s kitchen design. I would love to upgrade mine; he firmly believes that acquiring a taste for renovation is dangerous, making you crave a new kitchen remodel every five years.

This got me thinking. Seems homeowners believe a lot of kitchen remodel myths, ideas about kitchen remodeling that dont necessarily make sense. In the interest of objectivity, read on as we answer popular myths with the facts.

MYTH: A kitchen remodel isnt worth the bother. Itll just go out of style in five years, anyway.
FACT: Your kitchen remodel is not only about looks: a well-planned kitchen design will make this essential room more efficient, easier to clean, and a welcoming place to gather with your family and friends.

Do be sure to select materials in attractive neutral colors and classic styles for a kitchen remodel thatll look fresh and appealing for years to come.

MYTH: The most convenient time for a kitchen renovation is right after you close on a house, before moving in.
FACT: Buying a house is expensive (probably the priciest purchase youll ever make), and brings you lots of related costs like furniture, landscaping, and so on. It makes sound financial sense to wait a few years until you can afford the kitchen remodel you want.

Whats more, once youve lived in your home for a while, youll be much better equipped to plan a kitchen design that optimizes the available space, and suits your familys traffic patterns and routines.

MYTH: Go big or go home. You must do a lavish, floor-to-ceiling kitchen remodel to get the best return on investment when youre about to sell your house.
FACT: Potential buyers tend to be more interested in your homes state of repair than whether you have the latest and greatest kitchen decor. And a small kitchen remodel will usually reap a better ROI than a big one (80.2 compared to 65.3 percent, on average), says Remodeling Magazines Cost Vs Value report.

MYTH: You will need to remodel everything or the older parts will look shabby.
FACT: An expert remodeler can help you plan a small kitchen remodel that will skillfully integrate new elements with old for example, replacement flooring that is color coordinated with your existing kitchen cabinet doors and wall paint.

MYTH: Quartz countertops are better than granite. OR: Granite countertops are better than quartz.
FACT: Both quartz and granite are top-quality, high-performance materials for your countertops. Each has pros and cons. Do your research into granite vs. quartz countertops and decide which one you personally prefer.

MYTH: The only solution for drab, dreary kitchen cabinets is (expensive) replacement.
FACT: Kitchen cabinets in good shape can be refreshed in any of these time- and money-saving ways:
Repaint with latex or chalk paint.
Refinishing. Gel stain requires only minimal sanding and is simple to apply.
Refacing (replacing only your kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts).
MYTH: Fancy features for kitchen cabinets like pot and pan organizers or pullout corner fittings are just frills AKA a waste of money.
FACT: Installing kitchen design features that save you time and hassle means money well spent. Thats the conclusion of the Research Institute for Cooking Kitchen Intelligence, whose survey found that homeowners biggest kitchen remodel regret was failing to include more organizational aids.

MYTH: Theres no such thing as an eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
FACT: You can easily green your kitchen remodel using these tips:
Replace outdated appliances with efficient Energy Star certified models to reduce electricity consumption. Then recycle the old appliances for parts or scrap metal.

Once kitchen cabinets are removed from the wall, reuse them to organize your basement or garage storage. Or donate them to Habitat for Humanity.

Choose responsibly sourced, sustainable materials for a green kitchen remodel. For instance, wood for kitchen cabinets should be FSC approved. Also, avoid toxic substances, like high-VOC adhesives, paint, and stain.

Laura Firszt writes for

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Labor Day kicks off mum season

These days, mum’s the word as thousands of chrysanthemums in shades of red, yellow, purple and orange appear at stores and nurseries.

The colorful flowers give northeast Ohio residents an opportunity to enjoy an array of autumn colors in their gardens and landscaping, said Bob Mramor, owner of Kelly’s Gardens and Landscapes, 4220 Route 20 in Saybrook Township.

“The colors are just starting to show,” he said. 

The arrival of fall mums in stores after Labor Day is one of the best horticultural events of the year, he said. Gardeners get a beautiful flower that blooms for about six weeks. Then, if you plant it in a protective spot close to the house before it gets cold outside, water it and mulch it, it will come up again next September and bloom again, he said.

At Brant’s Apple Orchard, 4749 Dibble Road in Sheffield Township, pots of these colorful flowers, which also go by the name of “Belgian mums,” are just starting to bloom.

“We have a variety of colors,” said Shelly Damon, manager. “We have bronze, yellow, lavender and purple.”

Mattie Miller at Byler’s Community Kitchen, 400 Route 193 in Dorset, also raises mums locally at her home and then sells them at the store. She suggests planting the mums early in September.

“They need time to root,” she said. “If you wait until late October it’s often too cold and they’ll die.” 

Gracie’s Greenhouse, 7145 Bushnell Road in Conneaut, now boasts 800 mums in all sorts of colors and varieties. The plants come in one gallon size, hangers and in terra cotta planters, ready to decorate your porch or patio.

These mums are expected to be bought up by gardeners who can be seen walking away with their arms full of the long-lasting flowers.

More ideas for your garden this fall:

• Display flower pots, replace spring and summer pots with gourds and sunflowers;

• Perennials flourish in pots year round in Ohio, if you move them to a protected spot indoors in the winter, and

• Get out the scarecrows and pumpkins — it’s only a little more than two more weeks before the official start of fall.

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3-D Gardening

As more homes are sought after for that ‘must-have-a-view’ requirement, so more are built on slopes with decks perched on stilts. With this comes the challenge of how to landscape and what to plant for the most effect. I’ve nicknamed this challenge “3-D gardening.”

Garden design in three dimensions

Creative design and planting is challenging no matter what your garden style, but 3-D gardens are unique in that each area is viewed from totally different angles. You may look down or across your yard from a high deck, or your patio view may lead your eye up the slope behind your house. Garden planning for these different perspectives is a challenge.

Repetition is a key cornerstone to success. If the style of your home is more traditional, let that dictate the style of your garden. On the other hand, if you feel the structure of your home needs softening, you can do this with landscaping.

For example, a strong, angular terrace can be softened with curved beds that mimic the strength of the strong architecture with the addition of angular rocks, arbors or planters incorporating a gentler appearance.

Next comes the challenge of what to plant where for the best effect.

Plant suggestions for the uphill view

When looking up a slope, plants that have nodding or drooping blooms suddenly become favorites. A particularly good plant in this circumstance is the Edgeworthia chrysantha, commonly called paper bush.

This winter-blooming shrub is a member of the Daphne family, hence its amazingly strong perfume. It’s perfect for the back patio while sitting outside on a warm winter’s day. Its ultimate size is about eight feet tall and 10 feet wide, with a leaf that would make you think you were sitting under a plumeria tree in Hawaii. Although marginal for our zone, it’s well worth trying to grow.

Another early-spring charmer is Trillium cernuum. Commonly known as nodding trillium, this native plant has a delightful bloom that opens underneath the leaves and is happy in moist, rich, shaded soil.

For late-summer blooms, consider the Gladiolus acidanthera, the peacock orchid. It’s cold hardy in warmer Zones 8 to 10, so it’s best to lift it in the fall and replant once the chance of frost has disappeared.

Graceful arching plants such as Japanese Hakone grasses and weeping Japanese maples as well as any plants with globe-shaped flowers are good additions to all landscape designs.

Plants for the downhill view

As for admiring a garden from above, there are many more plant options, including the ubiquitous hosta. One can make an amazing quilt of varying green colors and shapes as you juxtapose one against another.

Plants with round leaves also make an imposing contrast against their neighbors, and look good as you stroll the garden.

Consider including lotus or Ligularia plants. Also, papyrus grasses — which, although they’re annuals — make spectacular architectural plant specimens. Admiring flowering trees and bushes from above is a wonderful experience. Think butterfly bush, crape myrtle, magnolia and dogwood.

One could be forgiven for believing the stereotype that clematis can only climb up mailboxes. But if you let it tumble down a terrace while ‘co-mingling’ with other flowers or grow it as a ground cover, you’ll be amazed with the “wow” factor.

That said, I also dream of a neighborhood where everyone has a clematis in bloom over their mailboxes — what a spectacular sight that would be.

Whatever mix of botanicals you plant, always add some evergreen shrubs for winter interest which also double as wildlife protection. A new favorite of mine, which mixes well with perennials, is Thuja orientalis ‘Morgan.’ This dwarf variety grows approximately three feet tall with a chartreuse green color in summer, turning peachy-orange in the winter.

The final 3-D touch

Above all else, show off your creativity by framing your plants with a layer of mulch. Whether walking through your garden, enjoying its beauty from high above, or looking up the slope to your tree canopy, your outdoor space needs to be intriguing, a little secretive, warm and inviting.

This information is provided as a service of the Henderson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program. Got gardening questions? Call 828-697-4891 or email for answers.


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