Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for September 29, 2017

Tree time: council modifies park, removes eucalyptus

Remove the targets below or remove the risky trees above? The Carpinteria City Council at its Sept. 25 meeting decided to do a bit of both at Heath Ranch Park, where 125-plus-year-old, 80-plus-foot-tall eucalyptus trees tower dangerously over a children’s play structure, turf and several homes.

The council voted unanimously in favor of cutting down the least healthy of the five-remaining blue gum eucalyptuses, while the other trees get critical analysis and management before being eventually phased out and replaced with native trees like oaks and sycamores. The council considered moving the park’s play structure for an estimated $175,000 but opted to eliminate it altogether in order to retain the open grassy area used for playing and dog walking. Fencing around the base of each tree will help to keep the public from the highest-risk areas for falling limbs.

Limbs regularly drop at the park, and Parks and Recreation Director Matt Roberts showed photos of a recently broken 12-inch branch dangling 80 feet high. In 2002, one of the historic trees toppled. It didn’t cause any major damage, but it heightened concern among some neighbors and at the city. Nearby resident Jack Dotts said of the 2002 incident, “It fell toward the house. It was loud. And it was scary as hell.”

But many surrounding homeowners have fought to preserve the trees. They note that the massive eucalyptuses are integral to the neighborhood’s character, provide habitat for birds and have historic significance. “Please do everything you can to save these trees for as long as possible,” former councilman and nearby resident Greg Gandrud beseeched the city council.

The city has debated for years over what to do about Heath Ranch Park’s well-loved and widely feared trees. They are part of the park’s historic landmark, the centerpiece of which is an adobe structure once incorporated into the grand home of Russell Heath, one of the valley’s early agricultural giants. Heath grew walnuts on hundreds of surrounding acres and planted the eucalyptuses around 1870 along the carriageway leading to his house.

“We can’t really win on this one,” said Councilman Gregg Carty. “Liability wise we should cut them all down.” He and Councilman Brad Stein argued on the side of safety, with Stein noting that it would intolerable if an injury or death occurred because the city had failed to remove the danger. The city’s liability is high related to the trees, reported legal counsel Jessica Dios, because the trees have been documented by arborists as potentially dangerous.

Councilman Al Clark argued for preserving the trees. “If we remove the targets then we remove a lot of the risks,” he said. Later in the meeting, Clark and Stein debated how much risk the city should assume, and Clark said, “We’re accepting some risk because we like these trees and the neighbors like these trees.”

Mayor Fred Shaw pointed out that he had visited the park that morning and examining the tree documented as the least healthy of the bunch. “I was standing underneath it today and looking up and worrying about it the whole time,” he said.

Councilman Wade Nomura owns a landscaping company and brought his decades of plant knowledge to the discussion. He advised the arborists to conduct several tests that would help to better analyze the health of the trees. The tree management plan developed by arborist Kenneth Knight involves significant pruning and evaluation over the next five years.

Councilmembers agreed that the tree closest to the existing playground should be preserved. Described by Knight as “likely to continue to live for decades,” that tree is considered the healthiest and least risky.

Community Garden preps for opening

As the construction on the new Carpinteria Garden Park wraps up under the public eye, the behind-the-scenes preparation is also nearly complete. At its Sept. 25 meeting, the Carpinteria City Council approved rules and regulations for the new garden, located at 4855 5th Street, and heard from newly hired garden manager Alena Steen.

Starring in the organic garden are the 100 garden plots available for rental to Carpinteria residents. The 5- by 10-foot garden plots will cost $60 per six-month period, and rent will include the soil bed and water. A shared tool shed will be available, also. Renters will be required to volunteer four hours each six months.

A lottery will be held if more than 100 residents apply for a plot, and priority will be granted to applicants who live within 1,000 feet of the garden and who lack a space of their own to garden.

Steen said that in addition to managing members, her position entails coordinating educational opportunities. “I’m really excited to bring a lot of hands-on, how-to classes to the garden,” she said. Classes in gardening, sustainability, composting, cooking, ecology and ethnobotany will be offered to the public as well as garden members.

The garden’s design includes several elements conducive to garden education, including a commercial kitchen, bioswale, native plant areas, shaded seating sections and large-scale composting facilities.

Fencing surrounds the garden, and members will access their plots through a locked gate with a code. Steen’s office will be onsite, and she plans to have the gates open to the public during her part-time work schedule.

To find out more or receive an application for the garden, contact Steen at alenas@ci.carpinteria.ca.us.

Article source: http://www.coastalview.com/news/tree-time-council-modifies-park-removes-eucalyptus/article_0f366826-a494-11e7-ac44-9f51349abe8e.html

EXCLUSIVE: How socialite ‘Bunny’ Mellon was asked by JFK to design the White House Rose Garden, cajoled widow …

Style icon Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon, a private socialite who was best friends with Jackie Kennedy, lived by the principle that a woman’s name should only appear in print at birth, marriage and death.

Bunny lived by her rule of privacy, at least until 100 years of age, when the nearly blind woman was launched into a scandal that landed on front-page news in 2011.

She had unwittingly become the central figure in the trial of North Carolina senator John Edwards for violating campaign-finance laws.

The widow of banking heir and philanthropist Paul Mellon had given Edwards more than $725,000 for his 2008 presidential campaign – because he had reminded her of her dear friend John Fitzgerald ‘Jack’ Kennedy.

She had also contributed to his campaign because she disliked Hillary Clinton, who was running for president at the time as well, calling her an ‘old rag’ and ‘the elf’.

The wealthy woman was a close confident of the Kennedys, asked by JFK himself to design the White House’s iconic Rose Garden and was a source of support for Jackie after the president’s assassination in 1963. 

Now, the once-private woman has details of her close friendship with Jackie, her work in Washington and extraordinary spending habits revealed in the upcoming book, Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend.

Style icon Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon was a private socialite and best friends with Jackie Kennedy. She soothed her friend after JFK was assassinated and encouraged her to remarry Aristotle Onassis. Pictured: Bunny and Jackie in 1961

Style icon Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon was a private socialite and best friends with Jackie Kennedy. She soothed her friend after JFK was assassinated and encouraged her to remarry Aristotle Onassis. Pictured: Bunny and Jackie in 1961

The wealthy woman was a close confident of the Kennedys and was asked by JFK himself to design the White House's iconic Rose Garden. Pictured: JFK and Bunny around 1961 

The wealthy woman was a close confident of the Kennedys and was asked by JFK himself to design the White House’s iconic Rose Garden. Pictured: JFK and Bunny around 1961 

Before the scandal with Edwards was revealed, the politician used Bunny as his personal ATM and spent all the money to hide his blonde mistress from public view.

Edwards phoned Bunny regularly after being encouraged by an aide to chat more often with her, believing that he could mine her vein of unlimited funds for himself.

Author of the upcoming book, Meryl Gordon, writes: ‘Bunny defiantly believed that John Edwards could do no wrong. Imbued by a sense of patriotism and a desire to be relevant [even at age 100] she saw this campaign as a chance to elect a liberal Democrat to the White House.’

In the book, it was revealed Bunny harbored an extreme dislike for Hillary Clinton after an encounter with the then-first lady in 1994 in the White House Rose Garden, which Bunny had personally designed at the request of President Kennedy.

Hillary was completely uninterested on viewing the design and roses outside of the Oval Office and bluntly remarked, ‘How very nice’, before abruptly walking away.

‘Bunny was steamed’, writes Gordon who had exclusive access to the legendary heiress’ private journals, letters and conducted interviews with more than 175 people.

Thereafter, Bunny called Hillary an ‘old rag’ and ‘the elf’.

Her blind support of Edwards also reflected her desire for Hillary not to win the Democratic nomination for president in her run in 2008. 

Although Bunny shied away from the spotlight, she was thrust into the public eye when she was 100 years old for a scandal involving North Carolina senator John Edwards

John Edwards was under investiagtion for violating campaign-finance laws and Bunny had agve him $725,000 for his 2008 presidential campaign

Although Bunny shied away from the spotlight, she was thrust into the public eye when she was 100 years old for a scandal involving North Carolina senator John Edwards (right). He was under investigation for violating campaign-finance laws and Bunny had gave him $725,000 for his 2008 presidential run

Bunny also contributed to Edwards campaign because she disliked Hillary Clinton, who was also running at the time. It stemmed from an encounter when Clinton had dismissed her Rose Garden, so Bunny called her an 'old rag' and 'the elf'. Pictured: Hillary and Bill Clinton in the Rose Garden in 1994 

Bunny also contributed to Edwards campaign because she disliked Hillary Clinton, who was also running at the time. It stemmed from an encounter when Clinton had dismissed her Rose Garden, so Bunny called her an ‘old rag’ and ‘the elf’. Pictured: Hillary and Bill Clinton in the Rose Garden in 1994 

Bunny came from a wealthy background that was multiplied with the success of an antiseptic liquid refined by Dr. Joseph Lawrence of St. Louis in 1879, which later became known as Listerine.

Bunny, born Rachel Lowe Lambert, was nicknamed ‘Bunny’ by her mother because she looked like a baby bunny at birth but the young girl grew up believing she was an ugly duckling.

Her parents favored her younger, prettier sister, Lily, and Bunny turned to her maternal grandfather for affection and became transfixed with the beauty of nature.

‘As a child, wild flowers were part of my feeling of freedom—hidden under larger plants or creating fields of lavender thistles that colored the landscape like a sea in the wind,’ Bunny wrote.

When Bunny’s father decided to install a new garden on the grounds of their estate Albermarle in Princeton, New Jersey, he hired the sons of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who had designed Central Park and the US Capital Grounds.

The Olmsted sons, who had designed the grounds for the National Mall and the Jefferson Memorial, came to work at Bunny’s home and she trailed after the designers, asking questions and studying their plans.

Bunny was introduced to Jackie Kennedy in 1957 by a mutual friend and they soon realized they were soul mates, remaining close all their lives

Bunny was introduced to Jackie Kennedy in 1957 by a mutual friend and they soon realized they were soul mates, remaining close all their lives

Bunny, born Rachel Lowe Lambert, was nicknamed 'Bunny' by her mother because she looked like a baby bunny at birth but the young girl grew up believing she was an ugly duckling. She was married to banking heir and philanthropist Paul Mellon (pictured together in 1971) 

Bunny, born Rachel Lowe Lambert, was nicknamed ‘Bunny’ by her mother because she looked like a baby bunny at birth but the young girl grew up believing she was an ugly duckling. She was married to banking heir and philanthropist Paul Mellon (pictured together in 1971) 

Garden design became one of Bunny’s great loves and she developed an extraordinary talent for creating outdoor landscapes and floral arrangements.

Bunny was introduced to Jackie Kennedy in 1957 by a mutual friend and they soon realized they were soul mates.

‘Even though Bunny was nineteen years older than Jackie – and only four years younger than Jackie’s formidable mother, Janet Auchincloss – the two women bonded as if they were contemporaries, each thrilled to have found a trustworthy confidante’, writes Gordon.

Jackie’s own sister, Lee Radziwill, said Bunny was more like a ‘sister’. They had a secret rapport.

‘Both loved art and fashion and ballet and all things French. They could tease each other and tell each other the truth’.

‘God, you can imagine what a funny girl, she would make you laugh’, Bunny said of Jackie. ‘She’s very, very bright’.

Bunny became a frequent visitor at the Kennedy White House ‘advising Jackie on decorating the white elephant of a mansion and arranging flowers for state dinners’. 

JFK asked Bunny 'to create the perfect outdoor stage set as the backdrop for his presidency, and every president to come'. Pictured: John F. Kennedy Jr. in the Rose Garden 

JFK asked Bunny ‘to create the perfect outdoor stage set as the backdrop for his presidency, and every president to come’. Pictured: John F. Kennedy Jr. in the Rose Garden 

Jackie gushed over the completed Rose Garden and made a scrapbook commemorating Bunny's work with candid family photos of their time in the garden. Pictured: The famed garden outside of the Oval Office in 1963 

Jackie gushed over the completed Rose Garden and made a scrapbook commemorating Bunny’s work with candid family photos of their time in the garden. Pictured: The famed garden outside of the Oval Office in 1963 

Jackie, JFK, Caroline and John Jr would spend summer weekends at their family compound in Hyannis Port, on Cape Cod, and would often cruise by boat over to Bunny’s 7,000 square foot estate in Osterville, Massachusetts.

It was during one of these summer weekends that Bunny’s morning was interrupted when she got a call from Jackie in August of 1961. 

‘Jack’s going to ask you to do something for him, promise me that you will do it’, Jackie said. ‘He wants you to design a garden for him at the White House’.

‘Outside his office,’ Jackie stated and quickly hung up.

John, Jackie and Caroline sailed over to Bunny’s and in a private chat, John asked her ‘to create the perfect outdoor stage set as the backdrop for his presidency, and every president to come’.

‘He envisioned not just a garden, but rather an American symbol that would be an elegant and welcoming vista’.

At the time it looked ‘so forlorn and outdated’.

Jackie gushed over the completed Rose Garden and made a scrapbook commemorating Bunny’s work with candid family photos of their time in the garden.

Jackie told her dearest friend that her husband's happiest times in the White House was spent in her garden. 'He will always be remembered' she wrote Bunny ¿ for creating such a glorious garden ¿ 'as you will too'

Jackie told her dearest friend that her husband’s happiest times in the White House was spent in her garden. ‘He will always be remembered’ she wrote Bunny – for creating such a glorious garden – ‘as you will too’

During its construction, gardeners cut a cord that connected the Oval Office to the Strategic Arms Command, which was the communication link allowing the president to launch a nuclear war. Pictured: Work on the garden in 1962 

During its construction, gardeners cut a cord that connected the Oval Office to the Strategic Arms Command, which was the communication link allowing the president to launch a nuclear war. Pictured: Work on the garden in 1962 

Jackie included letters, dried flowers and touching commentary describing her best friend’s adventures while working on the project and presented it to her as a Christmas present.

However, it wasn’t all easy. There was one frightening moment when gardeners cut a cord that connected the Oval Office to the Strategic Arms Command, which was the communication link allowing the president to launch a nuclear war. 

That errant slice put the country briefly on nuclear war alert.

Jackie told her dearest friend that her husband’s happiest times in the White House was spent in her garden. ‘He will always be remembered’ she wrote Bunny – for creating such a glorious garden – ‘as you will too’.

Jackie knew how much Bunny disliked publicity but remained a devoted friend while subjected to ‘that terrible spotlight that is the onus of our friendship.’

‘If you ever just fade away into the mist, I will understand’, Jackie told her.

But Bunny wasn’t going to fade away, instead she remained a fixture of the socialite community. 

The woman always needed new ball gowns, attending so many social events. Her entire wardrobe was couture, designed Balenciaga and Givenchy.

She often flew to Paris for fittings, spending untold thousands of dollars annually on the European designers’ creations. Bunny’s lifestyle cost her about $20million a year. 

Bunny could not go to bed in the evening if she hadn’t bought something.

Bunny often flew to Paris for fittings, spending untold thousands of dollars annually on the European designers' creations. Bunny's lifestyle cost her about $20million a year

Bunny often flew to Paris for fittings, spending untold thousands of dollars annually on the European designers’ creations. Bunny’s lifestyle cost her about $20million a year

Bunny lived to be 103 years old in March 2014 when she died of natural causes at her home in Upperville, Virginia

Bunny lived to be 103 years old in March 2014 when she died of natural causes at her home in Upperville, Virginia

‘She knew the value of everything and the price of nothing’, the book states. 

She loved the designs of jeweler Schlumberger and a director at Tiffany’s stated that ‘Bunny wanted to possess virtually every design that the jeweler created but often did not bother to take her purchases home. 

‘We kept them in a suitcases for her in the safe,’ Pierce MacGuire stated. ‘She was a collector’.

After her death, her grandson Thomas Lloyd and his wife, Rickie Niceta, visited Sotheby’s to see what Bunny had kept in storage.

‘There was case after case, forty Rolex watches, bracelets, purses, rings,’ Rickie stated.’

‘I felt like there had been a true hole in her heart, and she was desperate to fill it. She tried to fill the void by buying all that stuff. It made me so sad’.

The Mellons owned five houses and had a payroll of nearly 200 people, including butlers, cooks, laundresses, maids, gardeners, mechanics, carpenters, two pilots on standby, a masseuse, a librarian and even a cheese maker for her own dairy. 

Bunny was at her home in Antigua when she heard the news on a French radio station that JFK had been assassinated in November 1963, and she quickly went to her friend Jackie.

Although Bunny landed after midnight, she went straight to the White House.

‘I walked up to the front door of the White House through lines of soldiers and there was dead silence. I saw the black crepe over the doorway as I walked between the soldiers and the only sound there was the clicking of their heels as I passed and they came to attention’, Bunny wrote.

Bernard West, Chief White House Usher, was waiting for her. Tears were streaming down his face. Jackie had fallen asleep but wanted to talk to her and asked her to arrange the flowers at the Capitol, the church and at Arlington Cemetery.

Paul Mellon lived until age 91 in 1999. Paul Mellon's estate was valued at $1.4billion. Pictured: The couple at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia in 1987 

Paul Mellon lived until age 91 in 1999. Paul Mellon’s estate was valued at $1.4billion. Pictured: The couple at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia in 1987 

Bunny was taken to see the president’s coffin in the East Room to say a private goodbye. 

‘It was like the fall of all the hope of you – as though youth had tried and had been thwarted – I saw the crepe around the East Room’.

Bunny handled all arrangements – from the Capitol to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle for the funeral service and Arlington Cemetery.

When Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson were the new residents of the White House, the First Lady called Bunny and asked her to complete the East Garden that would be named ‘the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden’.

Bunny accepted but later bowed out and left her gardeners to complete the project, offended by LBJ’s vulgar vocabulary heard through his open windows.

Bunny was a source of support for Jackie in the months after Kennedy’s death.

Bobby later wrote a note to Bunny thanking her and saying ‘Without your wonderful kindness I am not certain Jackie could have borne the pain’.

Bunny Mellon, The Life of An American Style Legend, out on September 26

Bunny Mellon, The Life of An American Style Legend, out on September 26

The woman was also a comforter to Jackie’s children, as Caroline and John stayed close to Bunny.

‘For John and me, a visit to Bunny’s house represented the biggest treat we could imagine’, Caroline stated –‘Mostly because she was someone who loved and understood us, and took care of our mother.

‘Bunny taught me to knit and to needlepoint, to paint and to plant, and to want piles of blue handkerchiefs stacked in my closet. Walking down our hallway, I could always tell when Mummy was talking to Bunny on the phone because her voice sounded so happy’.

It was Bunny who convinced Jackie to marry Aristotle Onassis, a Greek billionaire, because it would be a way ‘to get a leg up financially’ and Jackie would now have an entire fleet of private planes.

Heartbreak came for Bunny when Jackie came down with cancer of the lymphatic system and died in May 1994.

Bunny never expected to outlive her soul mate.

Paul Mellon lived until age 91 in 1999. Paul Mellon’s estate was valued at $1.4billion.

Bunny lived to be 103 years old in March 2014 when she died of natural causes at her home in Upperville, Virginia. 

She had her share of sorrows that money could not comfort.

Her daughter, Eliza, had been hit while crossing the street in Manhattan and suffered a severe brain injury. She was left a quadriplegic and died in May 2000.

The one thing she asked in return of John Edwards was to attend Eliza’s funeral and sit next to her. He was a no-show.

He did try to attend Bunny’s funeral but was sent to view it from an outside tent. Staff and family never trusted the man.

Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4904528/Bunny-Mellon-asked-JFK-design-Rose-Garden.html

Local garden design firm creates urban retreat

This North Berkeley garden offers a sanctuary from busy life. Photo: Bernado Lopez

This story is brought to you by Bernado Lopez Garden Design.

There is a new garden in North Berkeley its residents have lovingly named their “sanctuary garden.”

Despite being adjacent to a fairly trafficked street, Justine Ganzenmuller and Christian Humann can step outside their home and – thanks to many layers of tall, softly swaying foliage and the gentle babble of a lotus-filled fountain and pond – feel like they’ve escaped the stresses of daily life.

“We forget all about what’s happening [in the news] when we are out in the garden,” says Ganzenmuller as we sit in their sunny, lush garden. “It’s like an urban retreat. It’s just what we were hoping to achieve.”

Creating an oasis in an urban environment is what landscape designer Bernardo Lopez of Bernardo Lopez Garden Design, does best.

“I like people to feel that when they’re in their garden– they’re in their own getaway,” says Lopez. His enthusiasm for all things green stems from fond memories of his native homeland, growing up with a father who managed coffee farms.

For more than 15 years Lopez’s design-build firm has married architecture and agriculture to create outdoor spaces that are not only sustainable and beautiful but also enrich the experience of its residents. His firm designs gardens that are inviting, colorful, and require minimal resources. Renowned author, UC Berkeley professor and food activist Michael Pollan and artist Judith Belzer are just some of the many whom have turned to Lopez for help in creating their garden.

The clients’ desire was to create an outdoor living space where they could grow food. Photo: Christian Humann

Client-designer collaboration

When Ganzenmuller and Humann first approached Lopez, their initial request was to create an outdoor living space with some area for growing food. But the project turned out to be a bit more complex. Not only did street noise have to be addressed, but also their property had a steep incline, that created an odd aesthetic challenge and more susceptibility to water runoff. Humann, who is an architect, collaborated with Lopez, to create their ideal vision. Lopez enjoyed collaborating with Humann, and says through working together on the garden the pair became friends.

Now that the garden is complete, maintenance is relatively easy –and the weekly upkeep consists mainly of pruning back overly zealous plants.

The garden mixes drought tolerant plants with permeable hardscape to maximize water conservation. Photo: Christian Humann

Sustainability is key

Sustainability is at the core of Lopez’s work. The firm frequently uses drought-friendly plants, which are often natives of South Africa and Australia, countries with similar latitudes as California. The North Berkeley sanctuary garden is one of many where he’s installed a highly efficient irrigation system, permeable materials and techniques to allow the excess water to percolate back into the root systems instead of washing downhill.

He repurposed existing stone from a fallen retaining wall, creating a modest, rustic planter with pillars to frame the entrance. This classic look, juxtaposed with a contemporary fence and gate honors the past and creates contrasts between old and new.

These considerations for the previous life of the land and the surrounding landscapes make the gardens feel natural and calming while also dynamic. They don’t feel overly strategic (even though they’re meticulously planned), but rather almost effortless. The plants entangle with each other, crawling out onto the pathway and along the fences. Flower blossoms are plentiful for the neighborhood hummingbirds, dragonflies and honeybees.

The elegant walkway uses steel a retaining wall and an IPE planter to frame the entrance. Photo: Bernado Lopez
Detail of contemporary water lily pond. Photo: Bernado Lopez

Lopez emphasizes outdoor living by making space for, say, a hammock, a game of horseshoes, or a barbecue and feasting area. Fruit trees, vegetables, and cooking herbs make frequent appearances.

“I want my gardens to be not only sustainable in terms of water consumption and beautiful in terms of the architecture of the garden, but I also want them to be productive and enjoyable to be in,” says Lopez. “

Ganzenmuller and Humann’s sanctuary garden is home to a robust Meyer lemon tree as well as plum, grapefruit and apple trees. Fresh herbs can be found interspersed throughout the garden, and at the back two big planters are taken up with seven-foot tomato plants. The homeowners are probably most proud of their young plum tree, however, planted in a sunny patch along the walkway.

“The tree produced 130 plums this year!” Ganzenmuller says proudly. Yet the tree was bare, as each one had already been happily consumed.

This sponsored story is paid for by Bernardo Lopez Garden Design. Visit Bernado Lopez Garden Design’s website for more information.

Article source: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/09/28/local-landscape-design-firm-creates-urban-retreat/

Property owners, public weigh in on vision for Ga. 138 in Stockbridge

Whenever Asia Ashley posts new content, you’ll get an email delivered to your inbox with a link.

Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

Article source: http://www.henryherald.com/news/property-owners-public-weigh-in-on-vision-for-ga-in/article_3d3ab07c-8c34-5f64-9eee-c196adac6b02.html

Experience the latest in home design and trends at 100% Design

Is your home your sanctuary from the outside world? It should soothe your mind, body and soul and be your safe haven at the end of a busy day. When you walk inside your home, do you love what surrounds you?

Maybe you adore certain aspects of your living spaces, but there are areas you’d like to update. Maybe it would just take new window coverings or flooring. Maybe it’s time to go for the complete kitchen or bath remodel you’ve been dreaming about. Or maybe a few quality furniture pieces will give your room the facelift it needs. You’ve always wanted that backyard oasis – maybe now is the time.

Whether you want to find ways to accent your current décor or do a complete remodel, or anything in between, 100% Design is the place to be!  Come experience the latest in home design trends at The Union Newspaper’s second annual “100% Design – Home Design Inspiration Show,” taking place October 7th and 8th at the Foothills Event Center.

At 100% Design, you can browse the new products and services of interior designers, home furnishings, lighting fixtures, home and hearth, window coverings, flooring, bathroom and kitchen products, backyard designers and so much more – all in one place!

Come experience the latest in home design trends at The Union Newspaper’s second annual “100% Design – Home Design Inspiration Show,” taking place October 7th and 8th at the Foothills Event Center.

To help you with ideas for your home, two local designers will present during the weekend – Stephanie Harvey-Statler of Stephanie’s Custom Interiors will guide you through Color Selection at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and at 1 p.m. on Sunday Brook Herman of Brook Ashley Designs will explore tips and tricks for staging your home, for sale or to live in.
Grab your free first drink from the bar (included in the $10 admission price), and see what our local hand-selected local businesses have to offer. Vendors include Sierra Timberline, Hills Flat Lumber, Abercrombie Company, Brook Ashley Designs, Custom Landscapes, Dean Fabrication, Stephanie’s Custom Interiors, Paragon Hardwood Floors, The Hang Up, Terra Graphics Landscape, WrightBuilt Home Remodel Design, TuffGrass, Byers Solatube, Budget Blinds of Grass Valley, Bath Fitter, Granite Transformations, Hall’s Window Center, and more. Each vendor will have a display to help you achieve your dream home, from inexpensive simple fixes to grandiose remodel ideas.

The vendors in this event offer a wide variety of services and products – beautiful home furnishings, hardwood flooring, window coverings, wood, gas and pellet stoves, beautiful doors and windows, landscaping, interior designers, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, lighting, granite and stone work, quality appliances, closet and storage solutions, high-quality artificial grass to keep your landscaping green and lush year-round, and more.

Admission for 100% Design is $10.00, and it includes one free drink from the bar (wine, beer or a non-alcoholic selection) and a free entry into our door prize drawing. There will be food available for purchase from Cesar’s Quick Lunch (tacos, burritos, tortas) on Saturday, Kaliko’s Hawaiian Kitchen (poke bowls, kalua pork, short ribs) on Sunday. Lazy Dog Ice Cream will be there both days selling their amazing ice cream treats.

The Food Bank of Nevada County will be managing the bar and will receive a portion of the event’s proceeds.

100% Design – Home Design Inspiration Show runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, October 7, and 11:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday, October 8 at the Foothills Event Center, located at 400 Idaho Maryland Road, Grass Valley, California.

For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit http://www.theunion.com/design or call 530-477-4241.

Article source: http://www.theunion.com/entertainment/experience-the-latest-in-home-design-and-trends-at-100-design/

Patio ideas sure to fit your customer’s preference

Outdoor PatioFor customers ready to start spending more time out and about in the fall weather, a patio is an excellent addition to their yard.

Depending on your customer’s location, budget and plans, the possibilities are numerous when it comes to creating the perfect fall patio, but it’s very important to know exactly what size patio your customer needs before getting started.

If your customers don’t plan on hosting many parties or being the center of the social scene, they might not need a large patio. So, take a look at a few suggestions on fitting your customer with the correct patio size.

Why does patio size matter? 

Getting the right size patio for your customer’s lifestyle takes a little bit more research than one would initially think. If it turns out to be too small, your customers won’t be able to use it in the ways they had planned, and if it’s too large then it could end up costing them more than they originally planned to pay.

A few key factors to keep in mind when planning for a patio are scale, location, patio covers and permeability.

Be sure that the patio size will fit the scale of the home and surrounding landscape. For those with a small-to medium-size lot, consider creating a smaller patio that still suits their needs but leaves room around it for planting or shading.

Larger lots give more flexibility, but it’s still best to not go overboard with sizing. Keep in mind that the patio still has to visually fit with the other elements in the yard, and less can sometimes be more.

As in the real estate business, location is key. Patios just off the house tend to be larger than those set back in the garden area. Garden patio size can also be determined based on the amount of structures, foliage, walls and more that surround them.

Adding a shade or cover over the patio is typically high on the priority list when discussing patios, and the type of cover your customer wants can determine the overall size of the patio.

Natural tree shade canopies or movable umbrellas won’t take up much floor room on a patio, whereas a wooden pergola or shade sail mounts would take up more room.

Some regions regulate the amount of permeable versus impermeable surfaces allowed in residential yards, so be sure to check with your local building department beforehand.

Small patios

The goal of small patios is to host up to three people comfortably, and the approximate size should be 6-10 feet by 8-12 feet.

These patios don’t require much space to support a small table and chairs. Generally allow at least 2 ½ feet from the edge of the table to the end of the patio to allow space for a chair and walking room.

Medium patios for outdoor dining

Customers who plan on entertaining a bit more may want to try for a medium-sized patio that allows them the option of adding in a dining table and chairs.

This space should be able to fix four to six people comfortably, and the approximate size should be 10 to 16 feet long and wide.

Generally speaking, round or square tables can fit well on this patio type as long as it’s at least 10 by 10 feet. Round tables that sit six typically require at least 10 ½ by 10 ½ feet and 12 by 12 feet or larger. Rectangular tables that can sit six usually need to be 10 by 12 ½ feet.

Larger multipurpose patios

For customers who just want to use their patios for events and relaxing hangouts for guests, an approximate size of 16 by 16 feet should work well.

Using movable chairs and other furniture instead of built-in furniture will allow ease when arranging and re-arranging for seating.

For the customers who want to use their outdoor patio space for anything and everything, it’s recommended that the size be approximately 25-30 feet or larger.

This allows customers the option of adding in furniture, grills, fire pits, hot tubs and more while not looking crowded and still having walking room.

Even with the excess room, it’s recommended that when adding in tables and chairs that at least 3 by 3 feet be left for each chair placed around the table.

Secluded side yard patios   

For customers who want to make something nice out of an abandoned, secluded area on their property, consider creating a secluded resting patio space.

This area can be around 10 by 12 feet and can consist of mixed paving materials to add a more unique look. These little spaces are cozy and intimate, and they easily allow customers to add in tables and chairs or even benches.

Fire pit patios

For customers who already have a fire pit in their backyard, talk to them about adding in a patio lounge around their existing pit.

These can be about 15-20 feet long and wide or larger, depending on how much walking/sitting space your customers require.

No matter what kind of furniture or built-in seating options your customers want around their fire pit, always keep 2 to 2 ½ feet distance between the seats and the edge of the fire pit.

If your customers want room for chairs and walk room behind them, the patio will need to be at least 15 by 15 feet to accommodate the fire pit, chairs and extra room. The larger the fire pit, the more patio space it will require.

Patios for outdoor kitchens, grilling

Patios that harbor outdoor grills and cooking spaces can range in size from 8 to 10 long and wide to 14 by 20 feet depending on how often it will be used and how many guests will frequent it.

When planning out a patio of this type, take into consideration that there will need to be a space for cooking, serving, dining and sitting. Look at the size of the grill or outdoor kitchen for starters, and allow at least 3 ½ feet around the grill for circulation.

Grills should be positioned at least 4 feet away from buildings, and consider adding in about 1 ½ to 2 feet of space on each side of the grill for cooking utensils and for resting pans.

Article source: http://www.totallandscapecare.com/landscaping/patio-ideas-sure-to-fit-every-customers-preference/

Telling the Stories of Smith’s Remarkable Plant Collection


Telling the Stories of Smiths Remarkable Plant Collection

On a whiteboard in Tim Johnson’s office in Lyman Plant House, the words “Big Stuff” headline a list of ideas for the future.

Climate change education, landscaping for a new Neilson Library and sustainability are among the topics that Johnson and the staff of the Smith Botanic Garden are exploring.

Since he began work as director of the Botanic Garden this summer, Johnson has been struck by how deeply the college community cares about its more-than-100-year-old “living museum.”

“Lots of colleges have botanic gardens, but they’ve often been pushed to the sidelines,” he notes. “Here, the Botanic Garden has been able to adapt and reinvent itself to continue to meet the needs of our students and faculty.”

A plant scientist and former head of preservation at the international nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange, Johnson says he’s looking forward to finding new ways to “tell the stories” of Smith’s outstanding plant collection.

Johnson will host a meet-and-greet for college community members and Botanic Garden visitors on Saturday, Oct. 14, from noon to 1 p.m. at Lyman Plant House.

Here’s what he had to say about the work of the Botanic Garden.

 

What’s struck you most in your first few months at Smith?

“There are so many students doing internships and people interested in the Botanic Garden—and that’s great! Staff members here are really outstanding—highly skilled and giving of their knowledge. We’re talking about ways the Botanic Garden can play a role in building a more just, inclusive and equitable world. I think that at Smith, we can really be a leader in that.”

 

How is the Botanic Garden contributing to sustainability efforts at Smith?

“We’re starting to brainstorm ideas and talk with other departments. We’re exploring how we might turn Lyman Plant House into a model of energy efficiency. We’re also sharing ideas with Dining Services and the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design and Sustainability about whether we can do more food production on campus. CEEDS is already producing maple sugar at the MacLeish Field Station. There are a lot of other areas at Smith where we could showcase sustainable food.”

 

What about climate change?

“That’s a big issue—how the Botanic Garden can facilitate climate change literacy and also mitigate the impact of climate change on our collection. There’s a special studies group that’s looking at climate change initiatives across the campus in anticipation of developing a master site plan for Smith. As part of that, we’re looking at what lessons we can learn from the past and what themes and initiatives we want to take on. We hope to develop an original exhibit about climate change and also to improve our signage so that it’s infused with information about climate change.”

 

How will you tell the stories of plants at Smith?

“It’s interesting to see how knowing the cultural context of a plant can create value. Saying, ‘Here’s a tree’ is different from saying ‘Here’s a tree that’s been growing on campus for more than 70 years.’ Documenting how a particular specimen came to Smith and how a faculty member has used it in their research is one way for us to tell those stories. Another idea that predates me is to do an exhibit in our gallery space elevating the work of Blanche Ames Ames (class of 1899). She was married to Oakes Ames, a famous botanist. But while he gets a lot of credit for his work, her contributions are not well known. And there’s the story of how so many of the plants we rely on originally came from countries that are now impoverished—how the Global North has benefited from the botanic diversity of the Global South.”

 

How are you using technology to carry out your mission?

“We’ve just launched TreeSpeak, a mobile website that students in horticulture classes have been working on. They’ve researched trees on campus and have recorded audio messages about 30 Smith trees you can access online and with a smartphone. Just look for the TreeSpeak signs and QR codes on trees in the arboretum. We’ve begun using Instagram (@smithcollegebotanicgarden) and other social media to help showcase the beauty of our campus and to show how students are engaged in the work of the Botanic Garden. We’re also talking about the possibility of using augmented reality similar to Pokémon GO. So, you might be looking at an existing landscape on campus, and through a device you could superimpose a view of what that landscape looked like previously.”

 

What’s something that’s brand new at the Botanic Garden this fall?

“We are just finishing up the rehabilitation of the Japanese Garden near Paradise Pond. We’ve been working with a new designer, John Powell, who has ideas for some different plantings in that location. We want the garden to continue to be a place of respite and refreshment. We’ll hold a rededication for the finished Japanese Garden on October 13.

 

Article source: https://www.smith.edu/news/stories-of-smiths-plant-collection/

Landscape Architects Argue That Sustainable Design Results In Net …

Agriculture
landscape architects

Published on September 28th, 2017
by Carolyn Fortuna

0

September 28th, 2017 by  

Landscape architects and clean tech? Sounds like the old nature-versus-society conundrum, doesn’t it? Well, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) says that homeowners can implement cutting-edge methods so that residential landscapes support the environment — no matter the location or property size. And the ASLA is backing up its argument with a series of free online sustainable design guides to help spread understanding about sustainable and resilient residential practices.

Developed for homeowners as well as landscape architects and designers, the guides outline ways that, through a comprehensive approach of integrated site design and sustainable building, sustainable residential landscape architecture practices cannot only improve the environment but also result in net-zero or even climate-positive homes.

The four ASLA guides fit into a larger trend about the growing preparedness of homeowners to make changes to their landscapes in response to climate change and technological innovations. The ASLA 2017 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey showed that, yes, consumers prefer sustainable design elements for their outdoor living spaces. But they also want tech-friendly elements to merge indoor and outdoor spaces. For the first time, wireless/internet connectivity entered the top 10 project types, suggesting that people want a backyard that allows them to enjoy both nature and digital communications/ entertainment.

The survey was fielded February 2 through February 16, 2017, with 817 responding. Here are the top 10 exterior project design types with the expected highest consumer demand:

  • Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 82.31%
  • Native plants – 81.60%
  • Low-maintenance landscapes – 79.25%
  • Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 76.52%
  • Permeable paving – 76.31%
  • Reduced lawn area – 72.66%
  • Fire pits/fireplaces – 71.51%
  • Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 71.05%
  • Wireless/internet connectivity – 70.77%
  • Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 70.32%

“Well-designed residential landscapes provide social interaction, enjoyment of nature, and physical activity, while also reducing water use and stormwater runoff,” said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. So sustainable landscapes and technology make valuable partners in the quest to mitigate greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions.

In response to consumer demand outlined in the trends survey, ASLA has designed the free online guides to offer a wide selection of tips, research, and best practices, including The Sustainable SITES Initiative™ (SITES®), a system for developing sustainable landscapes. The guides center around increasing energy efficiency, improving water management, applying ecological design, and using low-impact materials.

Increasing Energy Efficiency with the Help of Landscape Architects: Guide #1

Back in 2014, CleanTechnica featured an article about California’s net-zero energy mandates. It described how all California residential buildings by 2020 and all California commercial buildings by 2030 must produce as much energy onsite as they consume on an annual basis. It seemed visionary then, but now we know that inefficient home energy use is not only costly but also contributes to the growth of GHG emissions, the primary cause of climate change.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the residential sector accounted for 21% of total primary energy consumption and about 20% of carbon emissions in the U.S. in 2012. Architecture 2030 adds that building construction and operations-related energy use add up to almost 50% of total GHG emissions. So ASLA’s guide #1 supports research in the field around planning and designing collaborative efforts, which have the potential to usher in a sustainable and carbon neutral future.

Homeowners can leverage clean energy technologies, like solar-powered LED outdoor lighting. If part of a broader integrated site design, sustainable residential landscape architecture can help eliminate the need for fossil fuel-based energy. Landscape architects can help homeowners by undertaking a comprehensive energy audit and then identifying landscape-based solutions for generating renewable power or reducing energy waste.

Other examples of integrated site design are residential green roof and wall systems, which can cut energy use and home heating and cooling costs. Green roofs are energy-efficient vegetated roof systems. Green walls, also known as vertical gardens, can increase energy efficiency, lessen indoor and outdoor temperatures, and improve air quality. Additionally, when homeowners use trees and dense shrubs to shade their home and external HVAC systems, green walls help to block wind, thereby further limiting energy use.

Improving Water Management: A Landscape Architect Approach: Guide #2

In 2014, the U.S. National Climate Assessment determined that “the risks from future floods are significant, given expanded development in coastal areas and floodplains, unabated urbanization, land-use changes, and human-induced climate change.” Just three short years later, with the series of continual hurricanes in autumn 2017, extreme weather and climate events that have direct relation to human activity are — unfortunately — becoming the norm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that flooding caused some $260 billion in damages from 1980 to 2013. And, in the past decade alone, flood insurance claims have totalled $1.6 billion annually, putting further pressure on the already deeply indebted flood insurance system. However, in the second guide, the American Association of Landscape Architects says that sustainable landscape architecture practices, including green infrastructure, can impact the effects of climate action on residences. With green infrastructure design, residential landscapes reduce flooding during storms, conserve water in times of water scarcity, and limit the massive energy costs associated with running complex water management systems. Here are some sample green infrastructure approaches that landscape architects can offer to residential homeowners to help protect against flooding:

  • bioswales;
  • bioretention ponds;
  • rain gardens;
  • rain water harvesting;
  • water recycling; and,
  • drip irrigation.

Minimizing water usage is another way that homeowners can create a healthy residential environment by promoting infiltration, storing, and recycling of water. Limiting the use of valuable potable water for landscapes also helps. The ASLA calls for recycling and reusing greywater (and even blackwater) for landscape maintenance, car washing, and toilet flushing. They also point to maximizing the benefits of natural stormwater systems by improving the quality of soil on residential properties. Remediation techniques decrease water and air infiltration when soil is degraded and compacted.

Applying Healthy Ecological Design with a Landscape Architect: Guide #3

Among the many effects of urbanization is the transformation of intact, ecologically productive land into a monoculture of lawns that no longer support functioning ecosystems. According to the Audubon Society, the continental U.S. lost a “staggering” 150 million acres of habitat and farmland to urban sprawl. The remaining isolated natural areas are not large enough to support wildlife.

Why are plants so central to a functioning global ecosystem? Plants oxygenate the atmosphere and reduce atmospheric pollutants. They are the ecological basis upon which life depends, and without them and the insects that co-evolved with them, local birds cannot survive. Landscaping choices have meaningful effects on the populations of birds and the insects they need to survive. When homeowners, landscapers, and local policy makers select native plants for landscaping, such as are suggested in ASLA guide #3, they are engaging in ecological restoration, which is a valuable strategy for mitigating the impacts of climate change.

When applying a healthy ecological design to residential landscapes, homeowners who use native plants reduce the use of excess water, energy, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides that damage natural ecosystems. A healthy ecological design also supports pollinators. Native plants can be used to regenerate sustainable plant communities and reconnect fragmented ecosystems in residential areas. They are not only key to the global ecosystem: they are crucial to environmental and human health at the residential and neighborhood scale. Sustainable residential landscapes can build into a community and regional network of productive landscapes. Landscape architects can help residential homeowners to create a network of productive ecosystems, expand wildlife habitat areas, and boost human health and well-being.

Landscape architects partner with communities, non-profit organizations, and local governments to increase public awareness about using sustainable residential design practices that yield productive plant systems and reduce the negative ecological impacts of typical residential development.

When Landscape Architects Use Low-Impact Materials: Guide #4

Homeowners who don’t reuse or recycle existing materials contribute to the waste materials that fill our landfills and create additional waste when they are demolished. Sure, many materials designated for residential landscaping projects aren’t designed to be recycled. But there are alternatives, such as are listed in guide #4.

  • Homeowners can identify local materials that reduce the energy consumption associated with transportation.
  • Many innovative low-impact materials are permeable, which allow water to infiltrate and recharge aquifers rather than being routed to stormwater and sewer systems.
  • Some of these materials are also reflective, which helps to limit air temperatures and minimize air conditioning to cool buildings.
  • Certified, sustainably-harvested woods, recycled woods, and recycled plastic or composite lumber preserve forests, which are critical to sequestering GHG emissions.
  • Sustainable concrete from materials like fly ash (a byproduct of coal-fired power plants) or repurposing concrete from structures on the existing site can avoid sending useful materials to the landfill, conserve natural resources, and reduce a project’s carbon footprint.

Used in both landscapes and buildings, low-impact materials can reduce GHG emissions and create a healthier environment. Human industry does not necessarily need to harm the natural world. We do need to do research into sustainable materials, consider multiple options for material reuse and recycling prior to embarking on exterior home projects, and discuss with others alternative approaches so that materials within well-intentioned landscape projects don’t contribute to the problem of GHG emissions.

Final Thoughts

We’ve known for a long time that an essential link exists between nature and human society. But never before has the need to draw upon local sustainable practices been so important. We need to partner with nature wherever possible to secure our neighborhoods against flooding or excessive heat, to help improve air and water quality, and to protect human and environmental health. When nature is harnessed by people and used as an infrastructural system, it’s called “green infrastructure.” Green infrastructure can begin with the smallest of projects, beginning with residential landscapes and moving into park systems and urban forests. It’s efficient, cost-effective, and smart. If you’d like to learn more, here are 40 case studies from the ASLA that illustrate the transformational effects of sustainable design on residences. If you’d like to teach your child more, here are a series of educational resources from the ASLA that are written in a fun but developmentally appropriate way to help the next generation of homeowners to learn more about sustainable practices.

Photo Credits:

Increasing energy efficiency: ASLA 2011 Professional Residential Design Honor Award. Carnegie Hill House, Charlottesville, Virginia by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. Image credit: Eric Piasecki. Image link A green wall with lush plantings and edibles sits above a children’s sandbox.

Improving water management: ASLA 2010 Professional Residential Design Honor Award. Catalina Foothills, Tucson, Arizona by Design Workshop, Inc. Image credit: D. A. Horchner / Design Workshop, Inc. Image 142-08 link (via Dropbox) This project implements the first graywater reuse system for residential application in the region. It is intended to reduce water consumption by approximately 40 percent.

Applying ecological design: ASLA 2016 Professional Honor Award, Residential Design Category. Kronish House by Marmol Radziner. Photo credit: Roger Davies. Image link Over the four-year construction period, the addition of hundreds of mature trees and countless flowering shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers, brought in a flood of nesting birds and insect pollinators. The transformation was evident to workers who had been at the site from start to finish. They went from seeing virtually no wildlife at the beginning to experiencing a cacophony of bird song at dusk and swarms of bees, butterflies, and moths bouncing from plant to plant as they came into bloom. The diverse plantings ensure staggered bloom times to keep pollinators busy year-round, and create niche habitats for many bird and small mammal species. The property is now a lush oasis for urban wildlife in an otherwise biologically monotonous neighborhood.

Using low-impact materials: ASLA 2010 Professional Honor Award, Residential Design Category. Pacific Cannery Lofts by Miller Company Landscape Architects. Photo credit: Dennis Letbetter. Image link The landscape architect mined elements from the cannery structure, including abandoned machinery, for repurposing in the new gardens. The recycled tumbled glass riverbed in the Dining Room Court, and stone columns in the Lew Hing Garden add to the historic character. Hand crafted site furnishings made from FSC-certified wood, concrete, steel, and glass were designed by the landscape architect and crafted by Miller Company Landscape Architects’ in-house installation team.

Overall image: ASLA 2010 Professional Residential Design Honor Award. Lily Lake Residence, Dalton, Pennsylvania by Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Ltd. Image credit: Nic Lehoux. Image link The project reduces electricity costs for the house by leveraging shade from the site’s mature trees.


Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , , ,


About the Author

Carolyn Fortuna, Ph.D. is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. She’s won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavy Foundation. She’s molds scholarship into digital media literacy and learning to spread the word about sustainability issues. Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Google+


Related Posts



Article source: https://cleantechnica.com/2017/09/28/landscape-architects-argue-sustainable-design-results-zero-net-homes/

VIDEO: Tips and tricks for fall gardening, from the experts

Colorado is known for its beautiful fall weather, and that means gardening season can stretch well into November. The experts who bring us the world-famous Annual Flower Trial Garden at Colorado State University offer their best insider info for smart fall gardening. Their advice includes how deep to bury bulbs, how to save flowering plants from year to year, and how to cut and mulch perennials to prepare for winter.

Article source: https://source.colostate.edu/video-tips-tricks-fall-gardening-experts/

VIDEO: Tips and tricks for fall gardening, from the experts

Colorado is known for its beautiful fall weather, and that means gardening season can stretch well into November. The experts who bring us the world-famous Annual Flower Trial Garden at Colorado State University offer their best insider info for smart fall gardening. Their advice includes how deep to bury bulbs, how to save flowering plants from year to year, and how to cut and mulch perennials to prepare for winter.

Article source: https://source.colostate.edu/video-tips-tricks-fall-gardening-experts/