Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for October 3, 2017

Ikea has debuted an indoor farm that grows greens three times faster than a garden

LOKAL_photo_Rory Gardiner_4Rory Gardiner

Ikea is known for its flat-pack kitchen tables, islands, and cabinets.

Now the home furnishings retailer is experimenting with products that allow people to harvest food at home.

Space10, Ikea’s innovation lab, has designed a prototype of a mini-farm that can grow greens and herbs indoors.

Called Lokal, it uses a hydroponic farming system — allowing crops to grow on trays under LEDs in a climate-controlled box. Space10 debuted the device in September at the London Design Festival in Shoreditch.

Check it out below.

Article source:

Council picks location, design for new Virginia Beach City Hall – Virginian


It’s nearly official – Virginia Beach will get a new City Hall building instead of renovating the current one or moving to Town Center.

City Council members will select their favorite design and a new location on Tuesday.

They plan to support an option that was chosen by residents who voted at the summer forums held to educate the public on the project.

Asbestos was found in the 48-year-old City Hall building, and it can’t be renovated without relocating the employees, so the council decided to build new.

Tom Nicholas, Public Works facility engineer, said the electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems are original to the building and could fail at any time. On top of that, City Hall is going to need nearly 70,000 more square feet by 2070, Nicholas said. The existing City Hall has about 80,000 square feet.

In May, the city released a study that evaluated seven options for renovating or building a new City Hall. One included relocating to Town Center. That idea was unpopular with the public. Many did not want to see City Hall moved from its historical roots in Princess Anne, where it sits on a campus with more than 30 colonial-style buildings. The council decided in June to take Town Center out of consideration.

The council has decided to build the new City Hall behind the existing one. It will be near George Mason Drive off of North Landing Road.

Councilman Jim Wood said he would only support this option if a garden and gazebo at that location would remain undisturbed. The garden honors the community members who have or are currently volunteering for the city. At a September meeting, the council agreed to protect the garden.

Article source:

A community vision realized: Central Park Gardens celebrate 10 years

It was more than 10 years ago that several civic-minded, garden-loving Davis residents had the idea to renovate the garden along B Street between Third and Fourth streets in Davis’ Central Park.

With great enthusiasm, they drew up a garden design and renovation plan, received approval from the City Council in February of 2007, and launched a publicity, fundraising and volunteer recruitment plan to make that dream a reality by creating what is now known as Central Park Gardens.

The last major piece of that renovation plan was completed this year with the installation of three new rose arbors at the south end of the garden. This milestone has given the garden’s founders an impetus to look back and reflect on the achievements of the past decade and look forward to challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

A view of the rose garden at the south end of Central Park Gardens in 2006 before the volunteer renovation effort had begun. Courtesy photo

“We started out to build a garden, and we ended up building a community,” said longtime garden volunteer Peg Smith. “This has grown into so much more than I ever expected.”

Partnerships were essential to the early success of the garden. A steering committee was formed in 2007 with representatives from Yolo County Master Gardeners, UC Davis Arboretum, Davis Farm to School Connection, Davis Garden Club and city of Davis Parks and Community Services.

These organizations, along with the Davis Farmers Market, supported the growth of the garden through mentorship, connections with volunteers, avenues to funding and fiscal sponsorship, and the lending of tools and staff resources.

The first plantings in spring of 2007 established the new Rose and Flower Garden, Meadow and Vegetable Garden. Volunteers installed pathway systems and fencing, established new plantings, created educational labels and signs, and revamped the garden.

City staff supported the effort by removing lawn, upgrading irrigation and providing mulch and pathway materials.

Over the ensuing years, four additional theme gardens were developed: the Sensory, California Native, Beneficial Insect Habitat and Waterwise Gardens.

Service clubs and other community groups have assisted the effort through funding and volunteer projects. Local Soroptimist, Sunrise Rotary and noon Rotary clubs have all provided vital support for garden renovation efforts. Meanwhile, UC Davis student organizations, particularly members of the Alpha Phi Omega and Lambda Omicron Xi groups, have provided a steady base of volunteers for regular garden care.

From Boy Scouts to church groups to civil engineering student associations, many groups have assisted with special projects in the gardens over the years.

Founding Central Park Gardens steering committee members Linda Parsons, left, and Jim Fowler celebrated the first open house in fall of 2007 with UC Master Gardener Mary Tallyn. Courtesy photo

The recent completion of three custom-fabricated rose arbors caps an impressive and growing collection of public art in the gardens. Designed by landscape architect Kerry Loux and fabricated by metal artist Amanda Larson, the arbors feature cut steel panels with a twining rose design.

Many impressive and beloved public art pieces are now placed across the gardens:

* Faducci’s “Bellapede,” the playful monarch caterpillar sculpture, is adored by children and adults alike;

* “Flutter and Hum,” the ceramic mosaic vase featuring hand-sculpted native plants and pollinators by Mark Rivera, serves as a focal point for the rose garden; and

* The monumental “Cnawan Stone” by Sandra Shannonhouse features a circle of bronze dancing women atop a massive carved basalt column.

Today, the gardens are fully grown and provide a beautiful, tranquil oasis for people from all ages and walks of life. Community and student volunteers maintain the gardens at biweekly work sessions. These work days are overseen by garden stewards, who are community volunteers trained in horticulture and garden leadership.

Educational workshops and demonstrations on sustainable gardening practices and plants are held monthly in partnership with UC Master Gardeners. Interpretive signage and plant labels in each garden are a resource for visitors looking for plant selections and ideas for their home gardens.

What’s next now that the garden renovation has been completed? As the saying goes, “A garden is never finished.” Sustaining the health and vitality of the gardens and educational programs will require careful tending of the plantings, volunteers and community partnerships.

Garden co-founder Emily Griswold envisions a future when “the gardens serve as a hub for garden training and volunteer leadership to fuel improvements to park plantings across the city and beyond.”

UC Davis student volunteers have played a critical role in the long-term maintenance of the gardens. Courtesy photo

Most recently, Central Park Gardens of Davis became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and the steering committee has evolved into a board of directors. With nonprofit status, it will be easier for garden leaders to fundraise for the purchase of plants, tools and educational materials needed to stabilize and sustain the gardens and educational programs into the future.

A recently launched Friends of Central Park Gardens program seeks community donations to help sustain the garden. Those interested in making a donation during this year of celebration also can become a “Founding Friend.”

A public celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the gardens will be held this fall with an open house and plant sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Exhibits highlighting the last decade of garden renovations will be on display at the event.

Central Park Gardens is recruiting volunteers for the next garden steward training, to be held on Saturdays from Oct. 14 through Nov. 4. More information is available on the garden website at


Article source:

Council considers bid for downtown streetscape design

One of the first big decisions of the newly organized Downtown Development Steering Committee was to consult with an outside agency on a streetscape design.

On Sept. 22, the 4B Sales Corporation Board met and approved up to $149,000 for Freese and Nichols to assist with the efforts downtown. Council will consider the board’s action and make final determination.

Downtown revitalization is one of the main goals of the city’s strategic master plan. After the DDSC was formed, they created several smaller subgroups for specific tasks. One of those subgroups is the Streetscapes Subcommittee.

If approved by council, the Streetscapes Subcommittee will meet with Freese and Nichols to identify a core area of downtown for development. Once designed with sufficient detail, the city’s engineers (or an engineering firm the city contracts with) can move forward with the plan.

Some ideas of street design and landscaping were detailed in the city’s Vision 20/20 plan — drawn up nearly a decade ago. The committee and consulting group can piece out what is still viable from the old Vision 20/20 plan and update with additional information. This new design for a streetscape would include a cost estimate.

The DDSC said funds are not yet in place for all the work desired for downtown, but drawing up plans and cost estimates puts them in a better place when funds do become available in the future.

Freese and Nichols would also assist the Regulatory Subcommitee with designating certain “districts” in downtown. This would assist the committee in deciding land-use goals and design regulations to create areas with a common purpose.

FNI will review current building and real estate development codes to see if there are any possible changes that could aid in renovation of downtown properties.

FNI will assist the Financial Subcommittee in establishing a Public Improvement District  for the downtown core area. The PID is a tax that businesses in a certain area agree to pay to assist the city in maintaining public areas and infrastructure in this area.

This scope of services was approved by the 4B Board at their meeting Sept. 11, and the recommend moving forward with the agreement with FNI for the proposed amount.

The Wichita Falls City Council will consider this item and others at their regular meeting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the City Council Chambers in the Memorial Auditorium.



Article source:

Jeweller strikes gold for second time with sparkling new ideas

Annoushka Ducas knows how hard it can be to get a business off the ground, but that didn’t stop her from doing it all over again — and repeating her earlier success. The jewellery maker best known for founding Links of London with her husband, John Ayton, is now riding high with the eponymous brand that she established in 2009, with the likes of Helen Mirren, the Duchess of Cambridge and Rihanna beating a path to her door to snap up her colourful creations.

In some ways, she may have surprised even herself. After selling Links (for about £50 million to Folli Follie, the Greek jewellery group, just before the financial crisis), she spent about 18 months landscaping her garden (twice) and spending time with…

Article source:

Volunteers give back

National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day

Volunteers Madison Cortinas, 9, left, Ellie Barragan, 4, and Christina Cortinas paint curbs Saturday during the Public Lands Day event at Success Lake. The Cortinas family, frequent campers at the lake from Tulare, camped over night at the lake in order to participate the event. Volunteers worked on an assortment of projects such as painting, cleaning up debris and setting an irrigation system. 

Installing irrigation line

Installing irrigation line

Boy Scout Troop 132 members work on setting in an irrigation system Saturday at Success Lake. 

Posted: Monday, October 2, 2017 6:00 am

Volunteers give back

For The Recorder

More than 300 people help at Success Lake

Approximately 315 volunteers from the public and civic clubs did a huge amount of work giving back to the community on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Success Lake recreational area celebrating National Public Lands Day.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety.

You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?


Choose an online service.


    Choose an online service.


      Monday, October 2, 2017 6:00 am.

      Article source:

      Scientists find shrub linked to Lyme disease

      The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association plans to host The Landscape Show Redux Nov. 2-4, 2017, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The original show had been canceled due to Hurricane Irma in September.

      While the original show was slotted to take place in the North building of the Orange County Convention Center, The Landscape Show Redux will take place in the West building due to limited availability of convention center space. Also, the headquarters hotel moved from the Rosen Centre Hotel to the Rosen Shingle Creek on Universal Boulevard in Orlando. Complimentary bus service will be available directly to and from the Rosen Shingle Creek and the convention center.

      To make registration easy, the normal trade show badge registration fee is waived for The Landscape Show Redux. Rescheduling details have been posted online here. Additionally, online access to make hotel reservations will also be posted shortly.

      All exhibitors of the canceled Landscape Show are being contacted and given the option to take part in the rescheduled event. Anyone who registered as an attendee for the September show will automatically be rescheduled to attend The Landscape Show Redux.

      “FNGLA’s mission is to promote and protect the interests of Florida’s nursery and landscape industry,” said Ben Bolusky, CEO of FNGLA. “Regrettably, Hurricane Irma disrupted one of our members’ greatest opportunities to promote their goods and services and to access important business resources and products. A constant drumbeat of members throughout the state asked FNGLA to do all it possibly can to help members begin to recover lost business and reschedule The Landscape Show, even if it was not on its traditionally grand scale.

      “At the same time, we know this is a challenging time for many FNGLA member operations who are in cleanup mode and may just now be starting on the road to recovery. FNGLA is pressing hard with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and our congressional allies to do all we can to protect members with more disaster assistance possibilities. If their situations allow, we hope these members can still be a part of The Landscape Show Redux as attendees if not as exhibitors.”

      Due to timing, a few elements of the show will not be in place, including the FNGLA Career Fair and FNGLA Certification Showcase. However, the show will still include its Opening Night Reception and Tapped-In for the under 40 crowd. The Landscape Show/SHARE Golf Tournament will also be held on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 1:30 p.m. at the Rosen Shingle Creek Golf Course. Additional show activities include select Knowledge College classes; presentation of the 2017 FNGLA Landscape Awards; presentation of The Landscape Show Cool Products Awards; and the Exhibitor Showcase.

      In addition, FNGLA is working to attract government agency and relief organization officials to the show to offer expert guidance on available programs or even how to prepare for future storms and their aftermath.

      For more information on the rescheduled show, visit FNGLA’s website here.

      Article source:

      Washington Foundation, MR give another $3 million for Stodden Park enhancements

      Whenever Susan Dunlap 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:

      Master Gardeners to hold plant sale on Oct. 7 – Newnan Times

      The Newnan Times-Herald

      The greenhouse is full, and Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs) have raided their gardens for plants to donate to their Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, Oct. 7. 

      The annual sale features azaleas, crepe myrtles, dogwoods, Japanese maples, gardenias and hydrangeas as well as other sought-after plants.

      Be in the know the moment news happens

      Subscribe to Daily and
      Breaking News Alerts

      “Many gardeners may not know that fall is the optimum time to plant trees and shrubs,” says MGEV Jennie Adcock, who is coordinating the sale with MGEV Denise Dasher. “Planting in the fall gives the roots the opportunity to develop over the winter. Come spring, these plants will have a much better chance of withstanding the stress of heat and drought of a Georgia summer.”

      Sale hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on  Oct. 7, at the Extension Greenhouse, located at UGA Extension-Coweta County, 255 Pine Road.  All plants for sale have been propagated or grown by MGEVs. 

      “We’ll have volunteers on hand to answer your gardening questions about fall planting of trees, shrubs and perennials,” says Dasher. “And don’t forget to bring cardboard boxes to carry home your plants. We will have some on hand, but plant sale veterans always know to bring their own boxes.”

      Funds from the MGEV plant sale support UGA Extension-Coweta County community education programs and fund agriculture scholarships and Coweta 4-H.  

      For more information about the sale, please contact UGA Extension-Coweta County at 770.254.2620 or visit or on Facebook,

      For more information about fall planting and other gardening tips, please download the University of Georgia booklet, “Fall Gardening: A Collection of Information and Resources”:

      Article source: