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Archives for October 8, 2017


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Around and About: Lauritzen Gardens celebration raises $600000 – Omaha World

The Lauritzen Gardens Antique Garden Show drew more than 2,500 to a four-day celebration of art and culture.

Design talks, mini seminars, antiques exhibitors, a garden market and other educational opportunities were part of the Sept. 14-17 show, which netted more than $600,000 to benefit the gardens.

Among the highlights was a Sept. 16 talk by Shane Connolly, official florist to Queen Elizabeth II. During the 90-minute presentation, Connolly’s remarks centered on the historical significance and meaning of flowers in art and design. Guests had the opportunity to purchase arrangements he produced during the talk, all of which were in vessels he selected from show exhibitors.

Additional presentations included a Sept. 15 question-and-answer session and luncheon with interior designer Mark D. Sikes and Sophie Donelson, editor-in-chief of House Beautiful. Sikes offered tips on how he executes his design style, which mixes old and new aspects of American and European design.

A luncheon on the final day featured a cooking demonstration with chef Grant Hon of Omaha Steaks and a QA with Hon and Chicago-based mixologist Tyler Fry.

Hosting various events during the show were Brady Gibson, Julie Kenney, Emily Lauritzen, Susan McGillick, Christine Stevens, Jody and Gayle Carstens, and Suzanne and Rudy Kotula.

Janel Sunderland was general chairwoman. Honorary chairwomen were Cindy Bay and Mary Seina.

Fall Luncheon

Unveiling a new sculpture by Omaha artist John Lajba was a highlight of Lunch, Libations and Lajba, the Durham Museum On Track Guild’s Fall Luncheon.

The museum was the event setting.

Lajba’s new work, titled “Hollis,” is the final piece in his series of sculptures representing people who have passed through the former train station since it opened in 1931. Among other works in the series are a salesman, a soldier, a mother and children, and a 1950s railroad porter.

In a talk before the unveiling, Lajba explained that “Hollis” — a sculpture of a small boy — represents a child experiencing the awe of being in the museum’s Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall, a large space that for decades was the station’s waiting room. The work’s title is a nod to the Hollis and Helen Baright Foundation, which funded the commission.

The Sept. 18 luncheon also celebrated 20 years of guild support for the museum. Members of the guild’s 1997 board were honorary chairwomen. Of that group, six were present: Janice Falk, Diny Landen, Sunny Lundgren, Carrie May, Jeanne Salerno and Teri Teutsch.

In recognition of the founding board’s service, the guild donated a brick to the museum that will be inscribed with the board name and year, then installed near the Trans-Mississippi Exposition Gallery.

The guild also donated a brick that will bear the names of event chairwomen Beth Asbjornson-McCashland, Jane Machado and Sally Stalnaker.

The luncheon drew 200 and raised $35,000 to support the museum.

A raffle, silent auction and patron party also were part of the event.

Brew Haha

More than 2,000 turned out for Brew Haha, a Sept. 7 benefit for Habitat for Humanity of Omaha.

About 70 area restaurants and breweries set up tents in Stinson Park for the beer and food tasting, which generated $210,000. Proceeds will go toward construction of a home that will be purchased by a low-income family.

Providing a musical backdrop was Omaha-based Irish pub band The Shenanigans.

Honorary chairmen were Billie and Mike Mancuso, and Lisa and Dennis Ritter. Erin and Joe Pogge were event chairmen.



Taste the Season: A Prairie Palette, Food Bank for the Heartland, Omaha Marriott, $75; Joani Mullin, 402-331-1213.


Friends of Scottish Rite Dinner and Auction, RiteCare Speech and Language Clinics of Nebraska, Scottish Rite Masonic Center, $100, 402-342-1300.

OCT. 19

Woman of the Year Gala honoring Melissa Marvin, Arthritis Foundation, Omaha Marriott, $150, 402-201-2864.

OCT. 20

Rooted in Hope, The Hope Center for Kids, CenturyLink Center Omaha, $100,

OCT. 25

Climb Higher Luncheon, Omaha Outward Bound School, Downtown Marriott, $100; 402-614-6360, ext. 206.

OCT. 27

Benefit Art Auction and After Party Concert, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, held at the Bemis Center, $120,

NOV. 1

Christmas Caravan Gala, Assistance League of Omaha, Champions Run, $100,

NOV. 2

Milagro Dinner, OneWorld Community Health Centers, Hilton Omaha, $125,

NOV. 3

Breaking the Cycle Luncheon, Youth Emergency Services, Scott Conference Center, $65,

Brewer’s Ball, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-Nebraska Chapter, Country Club of Lincoln, $150, 402-330-6164.

NOV. 9

Toast to Hal Daub, Merrymakers Association, Omaha Design Center, $200, 402-697-0205.

NOV. 11

Night of Champions, Crohn’s Colitis Foundation-Nebraska/Iowa Chapter, One Thousand Dodge, $125,

If you have news for Around and About, send it to Howard K. Marcus, Follow him on Twitter @OWHhoward.

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Garden clubs meet for fall session

How to add something new to your Christmas decorations is topic of meeting.

It’s almost time for the Erie County Council of Garden Clubs fall general meeting. Garden clubs from Erie County meet twice a year, in April and October, to share ideas, have lunch and hear an entertaining and informative speaker. The meeting is October 18, at Nick’s Place, 12246 Route 99, Edinboro. Waterford Garden Club is the host club and will create the table centerpieces.

The fall meeting includes announcing the civic beautification winners, which are awarded to three businesses in Erie County that have outstanding landscaping in small, medium and large categories.

Gary Foster of Foster’s Rose of Sharon Shop, 2703 Buffalo Road, will present his design program called “What’s New for Christmas.” He will shake up our preconceived ideas about Christmas by decorating with fresh arrangements, door decor and mantel design. “I will show different themes for Christmas: old fashioned, glittery and some new ideas,” said Foster. “I’ll demonstrate how to mix fresh greens and flowers with artificial ones. It is easy to repurpose old pieces and change them out by adding something new. I like to show people that you can use what you have but adding just a little something new can make it look fresh,” said Foster.

Meeting schedule:

9:30 a.m. — Registration and continental breakfast
10 a.m. — Meeting
12 p.m. — Lunch
1 p.m. — Program
2 p.m. — Chinese auction results — each club should bring at least four items for the auction.

Lunch is $20 and includes a salad, soup, drinks, dessert, tax and gratuity. Sandwich choices are ox roast, chicken croissant and veggie pretzel.

Send reservations to Lynn Jackson by Monday. Each club should send one list of members attending, with their lunch choices. Make checks payable to ECCGC. Send to Lynn Jackson, 3121 W. 25th St., Erie, PA 16506-2329. Call her at 431-4470 or email to

ECCGC member clubs are: Albion Garden and Civic Club, Elk Valley Garden Club, Fair View Garden Club, Gospel Hill Garden Club, Heather Club of Edinboro, Lawrence Park Garden Club, Pioneer Church Garden Club, Presque Isle Garden Club, Seedlings Garden Club, Waterford Garden Club, Westminster Garden Club and Erie Guild of Floral Art.

Come and have an enjoyable day learning about how to decorate your home for Christmas. You may win a centerpiece or a great raffle item, too.


Pumpkin Walk

The Pumpkin Walk is today from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Erie County Conservation District’s Headwaters Park, 1927 Wager Road, just north of Interstate 90’s Exit 29 at Route 8. The walk is sponsored by the Erie County master gardeners. Cost: $3; 2 and younger are free. It is cash only and will be held rain or shine. No pets except for service animals.


Garden club meetings

Presque Isle Garden Club, Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Asbury United Methodist Church, 4703 W. Ridge Road. Rick Wyman from Tamarack Wildlife and Rehab Center will talk about owls and will bring some owls from the center. The public is invited to the program. Call Jan McLaughlin, 476-7259.
Albion Garden and Civic Club, Oct. 17, 6 p.m., Stonehouse at Albion Boro Park. Members will tour Wooden Nickel Buffalo farm. Call Sue Mihalak, 756-4404.
Westminster Garden Club, Oct. 17, 11:30 a.m., Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, 3302 W. 26th St. Master gardener Janet Krack will give a program called “Thistles of Scotland.” Call Barb Eberlein, 864-6489.
Cambridge Garden Club, Oct. 19, 7 p.m., Cambridge Springs Public Library, 158 McClellan St., Cambridge Springs. Master gardener Ellen DiPlacido will talk about companion planting. Call Sandy Moraski, 528-7748. 
Elk Valley Garden Club, Oct. 20, 8:45 a.m., Wells Park, 34 Main St., Girard and Lake City Borough Building, 2350 Main St., Lake City. Members will get the parks ready for winter. Call Janet Nelson, 833-6123.


Sue Scholz is a member of the Presque Isle Garden Club. Send garden news to

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Lake George shoreline homes may get more regulation – Glens Falls Post

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Old garden reinvented – The Register

Buying a home in an area surrounded by large Douglas fir trees or landscaping around a koi pond would seem to be permanent garden choices.

But over the 27 years that Vanessa Gardner Nagel has lived in her Vancouver, Wash., home, she’s adjusted to the landscape’s constant change.

“It’s about the garden being something that is always ongoing,” Gardner Nagel says. “There are always opportunities to do new things or respond to things that weren’t so great.”

Her two talks on Friday and Saturday at the 35th annual Lane County Home Improvement Show in Eugene will feature the two sides of a coin that all long-term gardeners face: the evolution of a garden, particularly when it changes in ways you weren’t planning for, and how to breathe new life into a tired landscape.

“There have been a lot of examples in my 25-year landscape challenge that may not be exactly like what others have had, but people can take some of those ideas,” Nagel explains. “The other talk is about how to start the process of editing your garden and creating something new. If you’re going to add concrete, and you already have concrete, it’s never going to match, so how can you make that work? Maybe somebody put in the garden, but they didn’t pay attention to where the sun sets. So even if it’s an established garden, you still go back to the basics.”

Constant gardener

Gardner Nagel’s garden odyssey began when she and her husband first purchased their home. For the first couple of years, she trialed some plants and simply observed the landscape, noting what animals visited, where the sun fell and what plants returned each year.

During that time she noticed that one of the Douglas firs was ailing. An arborist said two of the trees with root rot would have to go, lest the disease spread to other trees.

“That completely changed the character (of the garden), because there was so much more shade with the trees in place,” she says.

The discovery of a leaking oil tank that tainted both their stream and a neighbor’s duck pond required digging out the old oil tank and refilling the hole with fresh soil.

“That was making lemonade out of a lemon,” she says with a laugh, explaining how the remaining mound became a berm for hiding part of their parking area.

Another time, the couple learned that 13 acres of mature timber behind their property was going to be logged a week later. “When we found out they were going to do that, we did a trillium rescue and dug out as many as we could find and salvaged them. That changed the character (of the garden) again with even more sun (exposure).”

For both clients and herself, Gardener Nagel is unafraid of taking hard looks at a landscape that’s just not working.

During a 10-year “koi pond phase,” she dealt with failed water pumps and raccoons puncturing the pond’s lining. So Gardner Nagel shoveled in the koi pond and created a fire pit. Her family gets more use out of it, and, to retain the sounds of gurgling water, she added in water pots.

Oftentimes, people will move into a home with undesirable landscaping and call Gardner Nagel for remake ideas.

Whether it’s your own garden or you’ve inherited the work of a gardener who came before you, use focal points for deciding which plants to keep and which ones to remove.

“Just because you put something in, it isn’t sacred, it doesn’t have to stay,” she says. “You acknowledge you made a mistake, and then it’s time to correct it. That’s why people hire me. They’re asking me to look for, ‘What did we do wrong?’ or, ‘How can we make this work for us?’”

Ongoing evaluation

Gardner Nagel now has her own way of responding to whatever unexpected changes her garden brings: she sticks to her shopping list.

“I have six criteria that I’m using as a way to edit,” she says. “If I go to a nursery, it helps me not buy the wrong thing. I buy white flowers only. I add in variegated and chartreuse foliage to help brighten the landscape. I use 50 percent native plants and lots of ferns. And it has to be deer-resistant.”

If a plant doesn’t meet those criteria, it’s fair game for eviction. “It’s a continual editing process,” she says, “because you’re always looking at the focal points and evaluating color and texture. It’s never static.”

Writer Vanessa Salvia can be contacted


Read more #(##class(csp.rg.assets.methods.category).catName(gStory.story.subCategoryId))# articles here.


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Countdown to WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017: How Sheikh Zayed’s …

In our Countdown to WorldSkills series, we are featuring five young Emiratis who have already embraced vocational skills and found success and recognition for their achievements. This week we meet a gardener and landscape director.

Even by the standards of London’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, the Beauty of Islam garden was exceptional. Dedicated to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the Founding Father of the UAE and himself a keen gardener, it perfectly blended the flora and culture of the country and was a deserved winner of a silver-gilt medal and the best lighting award.

Its creator was Kamelia Bin Zaal, the first Emirati to design a garden for an event that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world.

“It was not just because the Chelsea Flower Show is like the Oscars for landscape design, but also because I felt very strongly about the negative perceptions of Islam in the West,” says Kamelia. “I believe gardens are transcendent, and it was my way of communicating with an international audience and showcasing Islam, and Arabic culture, in a positive light.”

The creative landscape director behind some of the UAE’s most extravagantly themed gardens, Kamelia combines imagination and pragmatism to bring a new dimension to the outdoors – something reflected in the success of her company, Second Nature Landscape Design.

She dreams of making a Contemporary Islamic Garden – something people around the world will visit the UAE to see. She believes her career exemplifies why other young people in the UAE should embrace WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. Kamelia is currently involved in the design of the test garden – the blueprint which competitors must work from – for the Landscape Garden Skill competition at the event this month.

As a child, Kamelia liked to watch her father – property developer and entrepreneur Zaal Mohammed Zaal – and her grandfather work in their garden.

“My father has always loved flowers and the sense of peace that a garden can given, and my grandfather used to grow vegetables and loved pottering about in the garden too,” she said. “We also used to press flowers that we collected on our walks together. I have always loved the outdoors since then.”

Yet Kamelia’s career began away from the world of plants and flowers. “I worked in government for four years and, while I enjoyed it, I felt as if something was missing,” she said. “I had studied art at A-Level and felt I was not nurturing my creative side.

“At the time, my father was planning the concept of Al Barari – a plant nursery, maybe a horticultural school – and this made me think of looking at garden design.”

Kamelia went on to study Landscape Garden Design at London’s prestigious Inchbald School of Design, returning to Dubai determined to make her name as a freelance garden designer.

“I worked freelance for two years, on ‘turnkey’ projects, which meant I was managing the whole process from design through to construction and plant installation,” she said. “I think it is vital to get as much hands-on experience as possible in whichever field you choose to go into.

In landscape design, understanding the construction process of a garden is just as important as knowing how to develop a design or plant knowledge.

“With construction knowledge, you really can produce thorough designs and, ultimately, create the best garden possible for your clients. That experience, while working freelance, has been invaluable to me.”

Second Nature, the company Kamelia founded, has taken on high-level projects including the Estate Show home garden for Zaya Real Estate at Nurai Island in Abu Dhabi, and at Qanat Al Qasba in Sharjah. “But, due to the scale and mass of the landscaping required, Al Barari is our standout project,” she said.

A Dh15bn Dubai property development created by her family, featuring 189 plush villas, Al Barari 34 themed gardens and more than four million plants were developed by Kamelia and Second Nature. The size of the task meant the company rapidly had to expand its workforce fivefold – from seven to 35 – and Kamelia says: “It was an amazing learning curve for me, as it became more about managing my team and the running of the business than about the design aspect, and that was when I was grateful for my business degree.

“It’s the only project in the UAE that is 80 per cent landscape and 20 per cent built-up environment. With 16km of waterways, it is really a haven for both its residents and for nature. There is nothing else like it in the UAE, and the fact we were integral in creating it makes me very proud.”


Read more:

50,000 UAE pupils sign up to visit world’s largest vocational skills competition

How ancient skills create jewels for the modern woman

Designs that combine culture, Islamic values – and 3D graphic skills


Second Nature owes much of its success to its ability to tap into a client’s thinking and make what they visualise real. “It is very difficult to get inspired over a job, whatever its size, if you cannot connect with the client’s thought process and vision,” she explained. “A landscape or garden is an extension of the architecture of a site, so the two must be interlinked. I like to try to understand the style of my clients and make sure it is brought into the garden.

“In general, however, my inspiration can come from anything – interiors, architecture, a piece of art, another garden I have seen, a pattern, even a type of material. You must always keep your finger on the button, creatively speaking, so it is important to really understand the latest trends – not just in landscaping, but in any creative form you relate to.”

It is, she confirms, a “fulfilling career”, making places for enjoyment – “it’s part of our fabric as humans to interact with nature” – and unlocking creative energy. “Building a garden is about solving problems, interacting and negotiating with contractors, understanding construction, managing client expectations, being able to work through issues that arise,” she said.

“It is a lot of hard work, but very rewarding. And if work is enjoyable, it makes you more determined, and more successful.”

Determination is one of the qualities Kamelia urges young people considering entering WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 to carry with them at all times.

“Keep pushing forward and jump at every door that opens, even when you doubt yourself,” she said. “I never dreamed of doing Chelsea Flower Show, but when the opportunity arose, I just thought ‘What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t like my design and I carry on’. It turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

“If you are not happy in your job, you will not be happy and productive in life. Ultimately, however, hard work and determination in doing something you love will always make you happy.”

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Art of being a host

The season of Diwali for most people translates into party time. You obviously want to outdo everyone else in organising the best party. But hold your horses, a great party is not just good food, drinks, decor and the perfect dress – but much more. The basic of organising a good party is to be an excellent host – one who knows the skills and etiquette of interpersonal relation, courtesy, finesse, hospitality and creating a comfort factor for your guests. It mainly involves the art of dealing with different kinds of personalities.

Entertaining can at times be quite nerve wracking and so our focus is on the “Art of Entertaining“. Here are some pointers to help you become an excellent host for a Diwali party:

1. Select the list of invitees with similar interests or something in common to avoid awkward moments of silence. The most important thing is to send your invitation 2-3 weeks in advance so that your guests are able to attend, as people are usually invited to other parties.

Follow up with personal cards and closer to the day form a WhatsApp group.

2. Select menu to suit the guests’ palate or keep in mind the occasion or theme.

3. Have a good selection of drinks – aperitifs, digestifs, spirits, wines and cocktails. If someone is familiar with drinks, great, otherwise hire help.

4. Receive guests personally

at the entrance. Ensure that you mingle with all guests and regularly introduce guests who don’t know each other.

5. At your party, don’t try to show up your guests by dressing better than them. Let them take the limelight. As a rule of thumb, the host must slightly under-dress than his/her guests. Bragging or boasting are strong indicators of being a show off. Your guests are more important. Talk about their achievements.

6. For cocktails, it is generally expected that guests will stand, so a lounge can be arranged with a few seats. Here, the host must mingle with the crowd and not just concentrate on the service.

7 Always ensure that help is sourced from outside for larger gatherings. There should always be a server accompanying the host so that beverages can be served immediately.

8. In case of a card party, organise some activities for guests who do not play cards. In case dinner is served late for the card players, lay out food early for people not playing cards.

9. At sit-down dinners, to commence eating, the host should say “enjoy your meal” or some such to the guests as a signal to start the meal.

For a complete sit-down dinner, extra catering staff has to be hired. For larger gatherings, it is advisable to have a mix of buffet and sit-down. Buffet is an excellent idea if the group is not so formal. Arrange the food in the following sequence – salads, soup, main courses (non-veg, then veg), cheese course and desserts.

10. Creating a comfort zone with your guests is important, so ensure you mingle with everyone equally. Try and introduce one guest to another, keeping their interests in mind so that people have common topics to talk about. Humour plays a very important part in making people comfortable.

The last word: No matter, how much effort goes into planning, mistakes will always be made. So, when you are able to laugh at yourself, you will find people smiling with you rather than at you.

By Pria Warrick, Image consultant and grooming guru

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South Texas Gardener: Fall Gardening Tips

It might be fall, but the South Texas Gardener Gabriel Vega tells us it’s not too late to plant.

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This week’s gardening tips: prevent lawn weeds, watch for Azalea lace bugs

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Gardening Tips: Turning your leaves into a compost pile | Opinion …





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