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Archives for October 9, 2017

Your Own Homegrown Veggie Zone – Yanko Design

In today’s society, it’s easy to forget about eating the right things. There’s often a time I’ll find myself making a sandwich and look to the fridge for inspiration, only to be greeted with empty shelves and a packet of ham…bleak. I may be lucky to have a bag of mixed salad leaves which have not held up. With the use of urban gardens, aeroponics, and hydroponics – healthy eating is now more accessible as ever.

The AeroGarden Harvest Touch set out to make sure big city living, with all of the hustle and bustle, doesn’t mean neglecting the importance of a balanced diet. Diet isn’t the only importance regarding urban gardening, it’s a hugely important aspect in the future of sustainable farming.

The overall design for the indoor garden is warm and approachable. The form doesn’t threaten to dominate the interior layout/design of its environment. The indoor garden greets you with a large 360 open view space – which not only gives the impression of the garden taking up less space that one thinks but also giving the user a quick ‘one glance’ update on progress/growth.

AeroGarden’s Harvest Touch was designed to integrate seamlessly into a city dwelling environment, allowing anyone to grow their very own vegetables at home. The system is soil free and harnesses its growth through the use of 100 high power performance LED lights, enough for optimal growing conditions year round while sitting nicely on your countertop. There is an intuitive LCD display to help the user through every step of the way.

Designer: AeroGarden









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Longwood Gardens announces record attendance

East Marlborough Longwood Gardens, one of the great gardens of the world and the most visited public garden in America, announced a record attendance of 1.5 million visitors for fiscal year 2017, representing a 15.7 percent increase over the previous year.

“We are thrilled to achieve this record attendance,” said Paul B. Redman, Longwood Gardens President and CEO, “yet we are ever mindful of the role we play in our community and in our world beyond the numbers – providing a place of beauty, a place of learning, and a place of legacy and stewardship. Our investment in the preservation of our historic Main Fountain Garden and our free virtual field trips offered to schools across the nation are just two examples of the diverse work we do to fulfill our mission.”

After an extensive multi-year revitalization, the Main Fountain Garden returned in May with a season of celebration featuring fountain performances, concerts, and special events. The newly revitalized Main Fountain Garden has attracted more than 609,000 guests to Longwood and received rave reviews since returning on May 27. In September, Longwood Gardens announced that its Main Fountain Garden performances will be extended through Oct. 31.

Since 2006, Longwood has nearly doubled its visitation and grown its membership support from 17,000 to 64,000 households. In addition, Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. duPont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the arts. Longwood offers a breadth of mission programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship, and cultural and community engagement. Since 1958, thousands of students from all over the world have participated in one or more of Longwood’s intensive education programs, ranging from internships to the two-year Professional Gardener Program to the Longwood Fellows Program. Graduates have gone on to leadership roles in many of the country’s top horticultural institutions.

For more information, visit

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Chaumont international garden festival: art and inspiration for autumn

Equally impressive though, is how so many disparate elements have been drawn together at Chaumont, any one of which is worth a trip: 

  • The chateau dates from the 10th century and is famous for former residents Catherine de Medici, who entertained Nostradamus here in the 16th century, and Princesse de Broglie, the 19th century sugar heiress and socialite. 
  • The historic park, blessed with many extraordinary trees, now holds a major collection of land art and sculpture, including work by Andy Goldsworthy.
  • The new Goualoup Park features permanent ‘world’ gardens by leading designers (Chinese, Japanese and English so far), and several installations, including a dahlia maze.
  • Historic model farm buildings have been restored and repurposed as art galleries, plus there are two cafes, two restaurants and a shop on site.
  • You may also stumble upon the kitchen garden, the misty valley (a permanent installation), the childrens’ garden, the conservatory and the historic stables – with a collection of carriages and Hermes riding gear. 
  • If you visit in spring you’ll see wildflower meadows and, in high summer, the gardens are lit for evening promenades. 

Outstanding plantsmanship, courtesy of 30 gardeners, links all elements of the 32-hectare site. Seating areas, walks and courtyards are lushly planted, gravel is raked to perfection. We were lucky to visit when the best of high summer was colliding with early autumn. Towering purple-black castor oil plants swayed behind a harmonious riot of hot pink cleome, billowing purple verbena, mauve petunias and blue scaveola. Meanwhile, viburnum, Hydrangea paniculata, aralia, cercis and airy pink Michaelmas daisies promised to be breathtaking for weeks to come.

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100th birthday of Longview Park’s Swiss chalet celebrated – Quad

ROCK ISLAND — One of the best views in the area can be had from outside the Swiss-style chalet that sits at the highest point in Longview Park, 18th Avenue and 17th Street, on the park’s north edge, next to Whitewater Junction water park.

The public was invited to savor it Sunday at a “This Place Matters” program celebrating the 100th anniversary of the unique building, home the past five years to Kimberly Miller, the parks department office manager. The program was sponsored by the Rock Island Preservation Society, Friends of Longview Park, Rock Island Parks and Recreation, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“It’s really neat,” Ms. Miller said while standing on the chalet’s wide porch, which recently had its screens removed. “I like the peace and quiet. At nighttime, it’s gorgeous here.”

Before Ms. Miller moved in, the building had been vacant for three or four years. Historically, it has been a rented residence for parks employees.

Marty Bush, president of the Preservation Society, said a main goal Sunday was to get ideas from the public on what the city should do with the two-story chalet to open it to the community. “Do something more with it than have a park employee live here,” he said.

“People don’t know that it’s here. It’s owned by the park, and a park is usually public,” said Diane Oestreich of the Preservation Society. “It was built for the public. We’re trying to make it a destination. That’s what we’re trying to do with Hauberg (Civic Center).”

“It isn’t really large … but it’s nice, and for a private event, there’s plenty of parking here,” she said. “Park buildings don’t have to make money, but it would be nice to make it a little more self-sustaining.”

“There is some security. If something is happening here after hours, you have someone here,” she said of the current chalet.

These kind of chalets, a popular architectural style when it opened a century ago, are rare in the region; there are no others in Rock Island, Mrs. Oestreich said.

The chalet was built nine years after the park opened. Originally referred to as the Inn, it first operated as a public cafe. It was used as a cafe until 1922, and later became home to park employees. It was used about five years as a preschool in the 1970s, Mr. Bush said. 

Plans were bought from Swiss-born architect Frederich Ehrson of Reading, Pa., and noted local architect George Stauduhar worked on the interior design.

Some of Mr. Stauduhar’s most well-known Rock Island buildings include St. Mary’s Rectory (1890), Sacred Heart Church (1901), Villa de Chantal (1900-1919), and Potter House (1907).

Typical of its Swiss style, the Longview Park chalet was finished in stucco with timbering and featured wide eaves overhanging broad porches, according to a Preservation Society history. Beneath each window was a flower box. 

The chalet’s two-story main room originally had stained-glass windows near the top, and interior walls were marble wainscoting. The ceiling was frescoed. The inside was not open to the public Sunday. 

The second story, which includes two bedrooms and a bathroom, is mainly in the back half, and there is a balcony that overlooks the main hall. On the first floor are men’s and women’s bathrooms and a kitchen.

Members of the Preservation Society on Sunday asked visitors for ideas on uses for the building, writing them on sheets with the National Trust’s “This Place Matters” logo, which shows support for keeping important historic buildings intact. The chalet is not on the National Register of Historic Places, nor is it listed as a city historic landmark, said society member Linda Anderson.

“We’ll put the ideas on Facebook, and just try to promote interest in the building,” she said, noting the ideas will be forwarded to the city.

Suggested ideas included using the building as an art gallery, banquet/event center, cafe, retreat center, preschool, hostel, restaurant or microbrewery.

“Preserve it; just don’t tear it down,” said Herman Bredar of Davenport, a Rock Island native. The parents of his wife, Norma, lived in it for over 10 years, starting in the ’70s. Her father, Delmar Clark, worked for the parks department.

“I think they ought to use it where they can hold things there — receptions, whatever. Use it. That’s what it’s for,” Mr. Bredar said. “It hasn’t changed much.”

The city replaced the roof a couple years ago, Mr. Bush said. During last month’s United Way Day of Caring event, 50 volunteers did a lot of work, including repainting the exterior wood, putting in new landscaping, building new steps, removing old screens from the outdoor porch, and painting the porch.

“What a view, too,” said Sibylle Seal, a native German who’s visited many chalets in Switzerland and lives in Rock Island.

“This is a small one,” she said. “Old buildings attract me like a magnet. I appreciate them.”

“If it had more bedrooms, I could see it as a bed-and-breakfast,” said Ms. Seal, who ran a B-and-B for a year and a half in southern Illinois. “But it doesn’t, so a restaurant or receptions, with this porch — wow.”

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Good to Grow: A sense of place brings magic to any garden – Charleston Gazette

In October, when the leaves are changing and autumn drapes the world in ambers, russets and golds, it’s hard not to think of magic. And it doesn’t take a wizard to notice gardening is its own sort of magic.

In fairy tales, it’s all bubbling cauldrons, full moons and lizard bones. Creating a garden really isn’t that different. It’s certainly much more than its ingredients. Planting at the right time is crucial, and conditions like soil pH levels and depth of seed planting must be met. We even use fish bone meal for fertilizer.

The most ethereal aspects of gardening, though, are arrangement, location and an overall sense of place. These things can often mean the difference between a work of art and a nuisance.

First of all, there’s the obvious fact that you must plant vegetation in its proper hardiness zone — tropicals won’t last a day in winter, and few cold-hardy plants can handle an endless summer. Then you have factors like average rainfall, soil type and so on. Plants, after all, have preferences. But there’s so much more to location than that.

Weeds, for instance: I am a firm believer that a weed is just the wrong plant in the wrong spot. Have you seen some of these nuisance plants? They’re downright adorable. But if it’s growing in the middle of your petunia bed, and you didn’t put it there, it’s a weed. If these little invaders weren’t part of your original garden design, they are often an invasive species to your area.

This, however, doesn’t mean the plant is unwelcome everywhere. I have seen many an ajuga plant lovingly arranged in one garden and ripped unceremoniously out of another. Placement is often the only difference.

But let’s go deeper, beyond the fact that plants have soil and temperature preferences. Let’s talk about the subtle magic of place. Forests, fields, mountains — they all have their own vibe. If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you’ve seen that every town, city and state has its own ambiance. Sometimes it’s the people, sometimes it’s the weather and sometimes it’s the land itself.

West Virginia is no different, it leaves a magnificent impression on a person. Pick up any piece of Appalachian literature. Our poets and authors will tell you. The misty hollows, the clay, the creek, the critters — there’s a wild and wonderful energy that flows through our mountains. It’s intoxicating.

Capture that.

Capture that energy in your garden. Pay tribute to the country roads, to the dappled forests and deep valleys. Explore your sense of place with native plants like Appalachian dogwoods and witch hazel. See if you can work in some jewelweed and sweet goldenrod. Gardens don’t have to contain exclusively native plants, nor do they need to be as chaotic as a forest underbrush. But there’s something to be said for a garden that compliments the energy around it. I’m sure we’ve all seen gardens that seem out of place given their surroundings. That’s what happens when you don’t pay attention to the subtleties of location.

Let the poetry of where you live be your muse. If you can find a way to harmonize your garden with the world around it, you’ll be surprised at the improvement. It might even feel like magic.

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Flat Rock News: County wins 5-bloom rating for gardens …

County wins 5-bloom rating for gardens, beautification

Henderson County’s fourth effort to show off its gardens, landscaping, environmentalism and volunteerism has paid off with top honors.

The county received a 5-bloom rating out of a possible five blooms and special recognition for its Environmental Efforts during the 2017 America in Bloom National Awards Program in Holliston, Mass., on Oct. 7. Henderson County also received a special award for “Best Example of Water-Wise Gardening.”

American in Bloom judges Ed Hooker and Leslie Pittenger, AIB judges, visited communities of similar populations and spent two days touring each town, meeting municipal officials, residents, and volunteers. Other competitors in the 25,000-50,000 population category were Mansfield, OH; Saratoga, CA; and St. Charles, IL.

Henderson County, Hendersonville, Laurel Park and Flat Rock participated in the local America In Bloom effort, which  gardeners first organized in 2014.

Last year Henderson County scored four out of five blooms and its newly dedicated veterans-honoring painting on North King Street won a special award for Most Striking Public Wall Mural. This was the first year the county won five blooms.

Communities were evaluated on six criteia: overall impression, environmental awareness, heritage preservation, urban forestry, landscaped areas, and floral displays. Additionally, they were judged on their community involvement across municipal, residential, and commercial sectors. America in Bloom is the only national awards program that sends specially trained judges to personally visit participants. In addition, each participant receives a detailed written evaluation that can be used as a guide to future improvements.

“America in Bloom is helping towns and cities of all sizes achieve their potential,” America in Bloom Executive Director Laura Kunkle said. “Every year our participants raise the bar, and the accomplishments and progress shown by this year’s group is again remarkable. These are, without a doubt, some of the best places to live in America.”

To date, more than 250 communities from 45 states have participated in the program and more than 22 million people have been touched by it. Registrations for the 2018 national awards program can be submitted until February 28, 2019. Eligible participants include towns, cities, college and university campuses, business districts, military installations, and recognized neighborhoods of large cities.

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More older adults facing tough decisions about gardens, landscaping

Barbara Travis used to spend 6-8 hours a day working on the flower beds and landscaping around her southwest Fort Wayne home.

“I physically am not able to do it anymore,” said Travis, 84, a former Purdue Master Gardener volunteer.

Recently, she spend two hours working in the yard in the heat and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, she said.

So Travis removed some of her flower beds and hires Greta Graebner, another local Master Gardener, to take care of her weeding and other gardening chores.

An increasing number of older adults find themselves wrestling with the same challenge — struggling to take care of the flowers and landscaping they worked hard to create, or pulling it out or hiring someone to do the work, said Ricky Kemery, recently retired horticulture educator for the Allen County office of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service.

The problem could get even bigger: By 2033, Kemery said the number of people age 65 and older will be greater than the number younger than that age. The number of older adults also is projected to double by the year 2060.

“The Catch 22 of gardening and seniors is that gardening is good for seniors,” Kemery said. “It makes them healthier and in a better mood. But it can be too much, and it takes stamina.

“The trick is to manage the gardens so they can be managed and enjoyed,” he added.

While at the extension office, Kemery used to receive calls from older adults seeking help with their gardening and landscaping. One response has been the local Master Gardener group forming a plant “rescue” team to go dig up and save plants a person no longer can care for on his or her own.

The team has averaged four or five rescue digs each spring for the past five years, said Simone Alberding, the lead coordinator of Master Gardeners’ annual May and June plant sales.

They rescue shade and sun perennials, house plants, and small shrubs and trees that will transplant easily, Alberding said.

“A lot of people put a lot of time in their property over the years, and it’s hard,” Alberding said. “They don’t want new owners to come in and bulldoze everything.”

Rescued plants go into the Master Gardener plant sales, Alberding said. Proceeds from the sales go toward maintenance of the Display Gardens around the extension office at 4001 Crescent Ave. on the IPFW campus.

Travis has been going through the scaling-back process at her home.

“When you love flowers, you just keep adding,” she said of her younger days.

She hired Graebner because she wants to keep both her yard and her neighborhood looking nice, she said.

“A lot of people really appreciate their yards and are distressed when they can’t keep it up,” said Graebner, who also works for a few other older clients.

She’s happy she can help people such as Travis continue to enjoy their gardens.

Helping seniors continue gardening

Ricky Kemery, former horticulture educator at the Allen County office of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, and local Master Gardener volunteers Greta Graebner and Simone Alberding offer these gardening tips for old adults:

* Install smaller flower beds or a fewer number of garden beds.

* Make raised flower or garden beds because they are easier to reach.

* Plant low-maintenance plants.

* Plant perennials in large groupings of two to four plants so they fill up the space and leave less room for weeds.

* Dig one large hole for planting several plants rather than numerous small holes.

* Scratch up the soil and sprinkle on inexpensive, direct-seeded flowers, such as cosmos, zinnias or strawflowers.

* Grow flowers or vegetables in containers.

* If you want to cut your lawn, use an electric mower because they are lighter and easier to maintain.

* If you have more plants than you can care for, give some away.

* Avoid planting invasive species or other plants that spread quickly.

* In the fall, cut back perennials to the ground and rake out all plant debris and leaves to prevent problems with fungus, mold and insects.

* Where a whistle or carry a cell phone when gardening in case you fall or get dizzy.

* Place stools or resting places around the garden so you can rest while working.

* Gardening equipment designed for seniors may be helpful, such as tools with larger handles.

5 favorite flowers for seniors

Ricky Kemery recommends older adults plant these five low-maintenance flowers:

* Large, vigorous varieties of daylilies

* Perennial salvias

* Sedum Autumn Joy

* Walker’s Low Catnip

* False sunflower

Native grasses also look good when planted in mass groupings.

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Restoring a rose garden from the roots up

Did you ever wish you knew the secret to growing roses successfully? Today, with so many beautiful varieties of roses available, do you ever wish you knew more about how to select and care for them?

On Oct. 21, the Rotch-Jones-Duff House Garden Museum invites guests to learn all about it with renowned rosarian Stephen Scanniello. He will discuss an upcoming rose garden renewal project at the museum property that will begin this fall at 9 a.m.

Learn the best practices — from the soil up — that should be incorporated into creating a beautiful, responsible and sustainable rose garden. He has extensive experience working with nurseries and small growers, who are continually offering new varieties. Innovations in rose varieties have made growing them easier, even if you are adverse to chemical use.

Scanniello is currently the curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, rosarian of the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford, Connecticut, and president of the Heritage Rose Foundation.

“Stephen’s expertise and knowledge of ‘all things roses’ make him the ideal rosarian to guide the museum’s garden renewal undertaking,” a press release states.

The cost of the program is $20 for members; $25 for non-members. Registration is required; www. rjdmuseum or 508-997-1401.

Following his presentation, guests will gather in the garden for some hands-on tips and the opportunity to “adopt” RJD rosebushes. Bring a shovel and some buckets or burlap and take home a new bedmate or two (for your garden); single roses $10; $5 for two or more.

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Gardening calendar is year-long guide to success

   Every year the Placer County Master Gardener calendar informs, educates and entertains its ever-widening circle of devotees. Recent themes range from Protecting Pollinators (2017) to Savvy Gardening (2016) to Beautiful Gardens with Less Water (2015). For 2018, it’s back to the nuts and bolts.
   The 13-month “Unlocking the Secrets to Successful Gardening” features “common strategies essential to success including watering, pruning, improving soil, identifying and dealing with problems (weeds, invasive plants and disease),  tool selection and general garden planning,” a press release said.
   “The idea this year was to just try to cover all the basics of what people need to make their garden successful,” co-chairwoman Carolyn McElhaney said.
   At the helm for the first time, McElhaney and co-chair Sue Nelson didn’t stray far from the formula that has made the calendar such a must-have for gardeners.
   “Because we were both so new, we didn’t decide to do anything bold,” McElhaney said. “We did bring the back the traditional list of what to plant each month rather than having it in the back. … Other than that, our biggest stamp — something decided by the group as a whole — was the theme. We wanted to give the public a grounded resource for all the different aspects of being successful in the garden —home orchard, perennials, vineyard or (traditional) garden.”
   Each month includes an informative article, suggestions for what to plant, what’s in season at the market, daily garden tips and reminders and QR codes and URLs for online resources.  
   For McElhaney, one of the biggest strengths is that additional information on each monthly topic — available on the group’s website
   “A link on the website takes you month by month for each article and gives you additional tools for expanding knowledge on the topic,” she said.
   It takes about 30 volunteers working from January to September to produce the annual publication, which is going into its 26th year.
   “It is really a team effort,” McElhaney said. “The whole process was a lot of fun. I met some new people. I learned a lot of information about gardening. I did the layout for the top and Sue did the bottom. I really enjoy computer work so that was a lot of fun for me, too — and working with the team of great people.”
   An important aspect is gathering the photos for the cover and monthly article topics. The cover photo and several inside were provided by Rick Brown, who taught photography at Colfax High and currently teaches at Sierra College, McElhaney said.   
   Another key person on the team was Gerrie Banister.
   “She spearheads sales and marketing,” McElhaney said. “She has a crew of people who work with her. She does a great job of going out and finding the vendors and working on getting exposure for the calendar.”
   The calendar raises funds for Master Gardener community education and outreach efforts.

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Sharum’s Garden Center Tips: Perfect Time To Plant Trees

Fall is upon us and that means it’s the perfect time for planting trees!

Frank with Sharum’s Garden Center said they some beautiful pecan and maple trees.

He also has a group of ginkgo trees, which are highly sought after because of their vibrant yellow leaves during the fall season.

Sharum’s as always has a large variety of pansies this time of year and while you are there be sure and visit their pumpkin patch for the upcoming holiday season and mums make a lovely addition as well.

Segment Sponsored By: Sharum’s Garden Center

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