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Archives for November 25, 2017

OUTDOOR BRIEFS: Garden project help; birding tours; ash tree preservation

20171122bc alzheimers garden

Brown County Retired Teachers Association members Susan Ridge, center, and Jan Swigert, left, prune a flowerbed outside the Alzheimer’s unit at Brown County Health Living Community in October. The retired teachers took on the weed-filled garden as a project and have molded it into a beautiful, vibrant “secret garden” with the help of many volunteers and donors. Besides Swigert and Ridge, they included Rita Simon, Bev Logterman, Lois Gredy, Ann Woods, Sandy Ackerman, Len Logterman, Bill Swigert, Kathy Smith Andrews, Bob Andrews, Travis Ridge and Kerry Ridge. Peggy Kelp of Kelp’s Greenhouse donated the flowers. “Best of all, a resident of BCHL goes out in her wheelchair on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and waters the flowers as needed,” the club reported in its newsletter.

Retired teachers seek help with project idea

Members of the Brown County Retired Teachers Association has been working for several months to revive a flower garden at Brown County Health Living Community (see photo above), but they also see potential for a much larger project.

The administrator of Brown County Health Living has approved preliminary plans to redo the large courtyard near the back of the building. Many residents’ rooms look out onto it. It already contains trees, grass, a gazebo and some other elements. Designscape has donated a garden design that would include paths for walking or wheelchair use, flowers and other features.

Susan Ridge, one of the retired teachers who worked on the other flower garden at BCHL, would like to know if any community members would be interested in doing fundraising or other work to make these plans come to life.

To express interest or to learn more, call 812-988-7776 and leave a message.

Help save Indiana ash trees with donation

The Indiana Parks Alliance is collecting donations to help save ash trees on Indiana public lands from the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that’s killed tens of millions of these trees since 2002.

Emerald ash borer has been documented in all 92 Indiana counties, the parks alliance reports. Ash trees once took up 15 to 20 percent of the state’s forests; but without aggressive action, 95 percent of all Indiana ash trees will be lost within 10 years, the group has said.

Donations to the Indiana Parks Alliance will help cover the cost of treating ash trees and killing the bugs. A special insecticide is injected into holes drilled near ground level. It’s a type that won’t harm pollinators like honeybees, said Tom Hohman, president of the parks alliance.

It costs about $10 per inch of diameter to treat a tree, he said. The group is trying to raise $20,000.

“If we can find good ones in great shape, we’d like to save them,” he said. It takes awhile for trees to mature enough to drop seeds, and the group wants to make sure the tree species isn’t lost.

To donate or to learn more, visit

Natural history tours offered in December

Indigo Birding Nature Tours guide David Rupp will give in-depth van tours of Brown County State Park and nearby landmarks from 9 a.m. to noon, Fridays, Dec. 1, 8 and 15.

Tours, $25 per person, will focus on the history of the land, people who lived here, and native plants and wildlife. Points of interest will be chosen based on weather conditions and some short walks may be incorporated.

With questions or to register, email, visit or call 812-679-8978.

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On the market: Oregon homes with tranquil, Japanese-style pavilions, gardens (photos)

People find Japanese-style gardens peaceful. Imagine escaping right now to take in bronze maple trees, graceful stone paths, contouring ponds and tranquil Zen-style raked gravel?

In this week’s real estate gallery, we look at homes on the market or recently sold that have a Japanese-style garden and perhaps even a pavilion or soothing soaking tub.

Some of the homeowners hired landscape designers who specialize in Japanese-style design. One of the most well known is Hoichi Kurisu, the former landscape director for the Japanese Garden Society who, starting in 1963, supervised the construction of the Portland Japanese Garden based on designer Takuma Tono’s vision.

A few years after the garden opened in 1967, Kurisu started the landscape design/build firm Kurisu International in Portland. Clients range from discerning homeowners to demanding city officials. All want contemplative outdoor spaces with features used in Japanese landscaping along with restorative and healing gardens.

The goal, according to the firm’s vision statement, is to harmonize light and shade, water and rock – opposites in Buddhist symbolism – and space with the senses.

Kristin Faurest, director of the Portland Japanese Garden Training Center, often helps people who enrolled in workshops to learn how to create a Japanese-style garden at home.

She offers this advice: “Creating a garden inspired by the Japanese tradition is not as simple as assembling a specified list of elements: stone lanterns and basins, rocks, bamboo, Japanese maples or pines. It is also about understanding the philosophical and aesthetic foundations of the art form.”

Faurest says Japanese garden design employs techniques for making a space seem larger than it is.

“Framing scenery outside of the garden, like a view of a distant landscape, can give the garden an added dimension,” she says. “The technique of hide and reveal – guiding the visitor through the elements of the garden in a way that selected views are opened at very specific points – is also important, as is a good sense of enclosure.”

She says that asymmetry also plays an important role.

“Even though Japanese gardens are intensely maintained, they’re meant to be representations of natural beauty,” she says. “The overall feel should be subtle, avoiding clutter, and prioritizing simple, beautiful materials that aren’t flashy and even maybe show age or flaws. Pay mindful attention to how the garden will evolve over time because a garden is a process, not a product.”

A Japanese garden path is not simply a way of moving around the garden without getting your shoes muddy, says Sadafumi Uchiyama, garden curator of the Portland Japanese Garden. Rather, it is a precisely designed element that directs you to certain points where the view is carefully constructed to be seen from that point.

Here are 10 elements that evoke a sense of a Japanese-style garden:

  1. An intentionally irregular stone path, which helps wanderers be “in the moment” and pay attention to where they are.
  2. Water dripping from a bamboo pipe and spilling over uneven, different size stones.
  3. Manicured, miniature junipers, maples or other bonsai trees in a carefully selected container.
  4. Clipped shrubbery, pruned trees and bouncy moss groundcover that create a sense of depth of space.
  5. A patch of raked gravel.
  6. A shed or small outbuilding used as a teahouse.
  7. A semi-circular wooden bridge.
  8. Cement lanterns near a path signaling changes in the landscape ahead.
  9. A bamboo fence
  10. Visually merging the end of the garden with distant hills or nature.

During landscape designer Kurisu’s decades of work, he has found that each environment is distinctive, drawing on the climate and culture of every place. “You want to make it unique,” he says.

If you don’t want to create your own Japanese-style garden, the gallery shows residential properties that include Kurisu’s landscape work such as:

  • The John E. G. Povey House, a 1891 Queen Anne-style Victorian at 1312 N.E. Tillamook St. in the Irvington neighborhood, sold for $725,000 in May.
  • A two-story Mediterranean villa on 10 acres at 581 Fisher Road in Roseburg’s Garden Valley West, which is listed at $2.45 million.
  • A one-bedroom condo at 665 W Burnside Rd #441 in Portland listed at $234,950, is part of the Maplewood Building, where some of the gardens in the 17-acre gated community were designed by Kuris.
  • An iconic peninsula property that includes a 5,542-square-foot main house with pagoda roof topped by blue ceramic tiles and a Robert Oshatz-designed studio, office and boat lift at 1900 Twin Points Road in Lake Oswego, which was listed at $7,999,000.

— Janet Eastman

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Award-winning garden designer to give talk

James BassonJames Basson

James Basson

Renowned garden designer James Basson and his wife Helen are attending a special fundraising event in aid of Il-Majjistral Park on Sunday. Basson will be giving a presentation about his gold medal and ‘Best Show Garden’ award-winning design at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

Their idea for the design of their garden was a disused quarry in Malta and included indigenous Maltese plants. Some of these plants were never before shown in the UK.

Since many were protected, the Maltese government gave Basson special permission to use them. The park is promoting the use of indigenous plants in gardens, roundabouts and other places.

Basson’s presentation will be held on Sunday at 5pm in the ballroom of the Radisson Blu Golden Sands Resort, followed by dinner at the Flavours restaurant. Participants can opt to attend only the presentation or both presentation and dinner. This is a fundraising event, so part of the proceeds will go to helping the park. For booking and more information, send an e-mail to [email protected].

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Industry professional launches peer group

Caterpillar debuted UTVs at its training facility Nov. 16 in Peoria, Illinois.

Two versions of the UTV will be available for purchase in the summer of 2018. The CUV82 features a standard cab with a gas engine. The vehicle can reach a maximum speed of 45 mph. The gas model features a Chery engine. A diesel version, the CUV102D, can reach a maximum speed of 25 mph, built with a Kohler engine. Both vehicles have a 2,000-lb. towing capacity and 1,000-lb. cargo capacity.

A push from customers prompted Caterpillar to begin designing the utility vehicle.

“We were hearing from our dealers that customers would love to have a UTV,” said Norma Aldinger, commercial supervisor for Caterpillar UTVs. “But they wanted it to look like a CAT, and be CAT tough.”

Caterpillar also wanted to appeal to new customers who were looking for a work vehicle solution.

“We’re seeing a growing trend now,” Aldinger said. “People are starting to replace their trucks with these UTVs for convenience.”

Caterpillar used the same designers who work on their other equipment to ensure the UTV met customer expectations.

The UTVs feature steel beds and wide cabins to fit operators more comfortably. With the UTV launch, Caterpillar will offer more than 50 accessories.

Campbell Lowman, product engineer for Caterpillar, said there will be accessories offered to allow operators to fully enclose the cab with soft roofs and doors, as well as hard tops and more durable doors. Windshield options will include full plastic coverage and half-windshields.

Other optional accessories include a Bluetooth radio with speakers, a heater pack option and task lights.

From the operator’s seat, a column shifter and power steering were included to give the UTV a more familiar truck-feel. The seats and steering wheel are adjustable to accommodate a variety of operators.

Caterpillar’s goal was to make the machine intuitive enough for any operator to figure out the controls in 30 seconds.

With a focus on safety, built-in features can set speed limits on vehicles. The machine won’t operate over 10 mph unless the seatbelt has been fastened.

For larger crews, Caterpillar announced they will be launching a crew version of the UTVs, with two rows of seating in fall of 2018. The UTVs  were developed in collaboration with Textron Specialized Vehicles.

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Destination playground, quoits courts among ideas for Pen Argyl’s Weona Park

Planners presented three possible master site plans at a public meeting Wednesday regarding the future of Weona Park in Pen Argyl.

A 14-person committee, which is comprised of local officials, business owners and municipal staff, has been working the Urban Research Development Corporation to develop plans for the future of the park.

The group sent out surveys to borough residents earlier this year and held a meeting in May to ask for feedback on what features residents would like to see at the park.

Based on that feedback, the group has come up with three concepts for the park.

For planning, the park has been divided into three sections; the central parcel, where the carousel is located; the parcel to the north of Route 512; and the parcel that is an undeveloped gravel lot on the west side of South Main Street.

Concept A

Central Parcel: Remove the existing pool and build a splash pad, destination playground and two small pavilions.

North Parcel: Reconstruct the existing tennis courts and build two small pavilions.

West Parcel: Build a new fire station, install a multi-purpose field, two sand volleyball courts and pathways.

Concept B

Central Parcel: Build a new community pool and bathhouse, upgrade the playground surfaces and components, develop a sledding hill and add pathways.

North Parcel: Build two sand volleyball courts, two small pavilions, pathways and a bocce ball, horseshoes, and quoits court, and remove vehicular access from Route 512.

West Parcel: Do not build a new fire station, build a multi-purpose field, 15 community garden plots, two tennis courts, 1 medium-sized pavilion, a dog park and develop natural areas and trails.

Concept C

Central Parcel: Build a new community pool and bathhouse, add a destination playground, picnic area, pathways and bocce ball and quoits court.

North Parcel: Renovate and expand the skatepark, build one tennis court, two small pavilions, pathways and remove vehicular access from Route 512.

West Parcel: Do not build a new fire station, build a multi-purpose field, pathways, one sand volleyball court, dog park and develop nature trails.

All the concepts include various parking and landscaping improvements.

The committee will make its recommendation early next year to borough council, which will have the final say.

Master site plans are guides and not mandatory implementation, according to Borough Manager Robin Zmoda. Approval does not mean every item will be constructed, she wrote in an email, fiscal constraints and grant allocations will determine the schedule.




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John Best is a freelance writer. Find lehighvalleylive on Facebook.

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Walt Disney World is designing an “It’s A Small World” float for Tivoli Gardens’ 2018 Jubilee Parade

Tivoli Gardens 2018 Jubilee Parade
Walt Disney visited Tivoli Gardens in 1951, and a Walt Disney World-designed float will join Tivoli’s Jubilee Parade in 2018.

Over 65 years ago, Walt Disney visited Europe and found inspiration for his future theme parks at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. Now, Walt Disney World is returning the favor by designing an “It’s A Small World”-inspired float for Tivoli’s 2018 Jubilee Parade, which will celebrate the 175th anniversary of one of the world’s oldest amusement gardens.

Walt Disney World Resort will contribute designs for a custom float, “Friendship Garden,” to Tivoli’s 175-year Jubilee Parade, which is scheduled to premiere in summer 2018. Disney and Tivoli have a long-standing tradition of collaboration, dating back to Walt Disney’s multiple visits to Tivoli in the early 1950s. He carefully studied Tivoli’s landscaping, attractions and experiences, and returned to Tivoli several times before opening Disneyland in 1955.

Tivoli’s 2018 Jubilee parade will be based on the theme, “The world comes together in Tivoli,” and will present the story of Tivoli and its four “pillars”: gardens, culture, rides and food. The procession will be more than 100 meters (328 feet) long, featuring floats, performers, well-known figures and Tivoli characters. The theme of the Disney-designed float is based on “It’s a Small World,” an iconic attraction found at Disney destinations across the globe.

The Jubilee Parade will premiere on May 1, 2018, and will begin every weekday (except Friday) at 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. on weekends. The parade route starts in the Castle Square by the Lake, and parades around Tivoli before ending at the Open-Air Stage. The music for the parade will be composed by Bent Fabricius-Bjerre, known internationally as Bent Fabric.

George A. Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida said, “Walt Disney loved Tivoli, and so do we. Out of long friendship and deep mutual respect, Tivoli and Disney Parks have maintained a very cordial dialogue over the years, ranging from employee exchange visits to discussions of best practices amongst our leadership. We at Walt Disney World Resort hold the Tivoli organization in the highest esteem, and we are pleased to express that through our participation in the Tivoli 175-year Jubilee Parade.”

Lars Liebst, Chief Executive Officer, Tivoli said, “One of Tivoli’s visions is to be a leading international experience brand. With this in mind, Tivoli’s long and amicable relationship with Disney is now expressed through a beautiful float to be part of our 175-year Jubilee Parade. We are both proud and honoured they are going to be part of our jubilee celebration in this way.”

To learn more about Tivoli Gardens, visit their English-language website.

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The latest on Ann Arbor’s upcoming deer cull

ANN ARBOR – The third annual deer cull is a divisive issue, to say the least. 

More than 1,600 people have signed a petition organized by Friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife and Nature, or FAAWN, to stop the killing of local deer, sanctioned by the city between Jan. 2-31.

View the petition on here.

With the help of contracted sharpshooters from White Buffalo Inc., the city hopes to kill 250-350 deer in this year’s cull, up significantly from the 156 deer killed in the last two culls combined.

On one hand, some residents find the practice cruel and inhumane and are pushing for sterilization of doe as an alternative. Robert McGee, the head of a volunteer group that darts and sterilizes deer explained, “In areas where it is not socially acceptable to shoot deer as means to control the populations, yes, surgical sterilization is a proven solution to management deer populations. Simply put, without ovaries, the does do not reproduce yet live out their lives. Our local humane society, Humane Society of Huron Valley, has sterilized over 11,000 feral cats since 2007. Why not deer?”

On the other hand, the increase of the deer population in Ann Arbor has had harmful effects on both public parks and private residents’ gardens and landscaping.

From a safety perspective, over the past five years the number of deer-vehicle crashes was 62; that’s an increase from 41 incidents the five years prior to that.

With the new sharpshooting efforts, the city hopes to bring the number of deer-vehicle crashes back down to 40 per year.

However, this year the sharpshooters will be getting closer to occupied buildings than ever before. The state just lifted a mandatory safety zone of 450 feet between active shooting and occupied buildings. White Buffalo says it has carried out shootings without the safety zone in the past without incident.

The shootings will take place in several city parks and on private property with written permission by the owners. Closures of public parks could last three to four weeks.

City of Ann Arbor deer map that tracks population (Click here to view)

The 18 parks set to be closed include:

  • Arbor Hills
  • Barton – north of the railroad tracks
  • Baxter
  • Bird Hills
  • Folkstone
  • Foxfire West
  • Glazier Hill
  • Huron Parkway
  • Leslie Woods
  • Leslie Park Golf Course
  • Narrow Gauge
  • Oakridge
  • Oakwoods
  • Olson
  • South Pond
  • Stapp
  • Sugarbush – north of Rumsey
  • Traver Creek Nature Area

The list is tentative and is set to be finalized by the city in December.

White Buffalo will also be involved in the sterilization of does, which is due to start with pre-baiting traps Dec. 15 and captures set between Jan. 2-15.

It hopes to carry out 40 total sterilizations of female deer — accounting for 95 percent of the females in all three research zones.

Residents can email or call Ann Arbor’s deer hotline at 734-794-6295 with questions or concerns.

Do you have concerns about the deer cull? Let us know in the comments below.



Copyright 2017 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

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Attract, support pest-munching helpers – Tribune

Updated 7 hours ago

One of the biggest gardening trends for 2018 is pollinator gardening, but did you know there are lots of other “good” bugs that deserve a place in your garden? While welcoming native bees and butterflies into your landscape is certainly a noble cause, don’t forget about the thousands of other species of beneficial insects who play a huge role in helping you manage many common garden pests. These predatory and parasitic beneficial insects consume everything from aphids and squash bugs to cabbageworms and Japanese beetles.

While healthy gardens with diverse plantings are havens for these good bugs, there are certainly a few other important steps you can to take to attract and support even more of these pest-munching helpers. Here’s a list of excellent to-dos that will turn you into a beneficial insect-savvy gardener who understands the importance of creating a balanced habitat, full of many different good bugs.

Plant the right plants for bugs. Pest-eating beneficial insects, like ladybugs, lacewings and parasitic wasps, don’t have specialized mouthparts capable of accessing nectar from deep, tubular flowers. Because of this, your garden needs to include lots of flowers with shallow, exposed nectaries. Members of the carrot family are excellent at supporting good bugs. So, too, are members of the aster family. Welcome plenty of dill, fennel, angelica, Zizia, cilantro, laceflower, cosmos, Coreopsis, Rudbeckia, yarrow, sunflowers and asters into your garden.

Learn to identify beneficial insects. There are tens of thousands of species of predatory and parasitic beneficial insects in North America; can you identify even a dozen of them? Do you know there are nearly 400 different species of native ladybugs, most of which are not red with black spots? Can you identify a larval lacewing or firefly? How about a ground beetle? Since less than 1 percent of all the identified insect species on the Earth are classified as agricultural pests, you have a far better chance of encountering a “good” bug than you do a “bad” one. Learn to identify and appreciate the insects in your garden.

Stop using pesticides. Many beneficial insects are just as susceptible to pesticides as the bad bugs are, if not more so. Plus, their population is slower to recover after a pesticide application, giving any remaining pest insects a leg-up. And, spraying pesticides — even organic ones — interferes with the natural cycle of predator and prey. In other words, if you kill all the pest insects, there won’t be any left to feed the beneficial ones. It’s all about creating a balance.

Let the garden be a little messy — especially in the winter.

Because most species of predatory and parasitic beneficial insects (not to mention many pollinators, too) spend the winter in our gardens, raking up every last leaf and cutting down old plant stems removes precious winter habitat for these important insects. Allow your garden to “stand” for the winter and do your garden clean-up in the late spring.

Make your garden as diverse as possible. In any ecosystem, including the garden, diversity equals stability. When designing your garden, aim to include as much diverse plant material as possible.

Monocultures are not welcome habitats for beneficial insects, but they sure do support lots of pests. Instead, include as many different plants as you can in each different garden area, especially in the vegetable garden.

Choose native plant species whenever possible because there’s mounting evidence that the nectar they provide is higher quality forage for beneficial insects. Mixed habitats are more balanced and support a broader diversity of insect species, helping you gain that elusive balance between the good bugs and the bad.

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio with Doug Oster. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control” and “Good Bug, Bad Bug.” Her website is

Send your gardening or landscaping questions to or The Good Earth, 622 Cabin Hill Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601.

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Gardening: With the harvest in, it’s time to think of gifts

By the time you read this, Black Friday will have passed us by. I know that some people stand in line that day — starting before the sun comes up — to get special deals on electronic games and various widgets. I have never done so. Here are my ideas for gardeners to give — or get.

By the time you read this, Black Friday will have passed us by. I know that some people stand in line that day — starting before the sun comes up — to get special deals on electronic games and various widgets. I have never done so. And won’t. My loved ones get good, practical presents that will last.

Here are my ideas for gardeners to give — or get.

Actually, not all my presents will last. Some are edible presents. Each year, for example, I dehydrate cherry tomatoes, apples, pears and hot peppers. A pint bag of dried cherry tomatoes represents a lot of work — and love. First I had to start the seeds and raise the seedlings. Then plant, stake and weed the plants. Harvest when ripe, cut in half, dry for 18 hours or more, and then bag them up. A pint of these babies is about 240 dried cherry tomato halves. A delectable gift.

Dried apples and pears are easier presents. I have a kitchen tool that will peel, core and slice apples and pears. You skewer the apple, turn a crank, and it’s ready to use in a jiffy. Much less time-consuming than cutting cherry tomatoes in half and arranging on a tray. And of course, a few dried apples will fill up a quart bag, and a good tree will last a lifetime. The slicer I have is called the Triple-Action Apple Machine and it’s available from King Arthur Flour ( for about $25.

As to the dehydrators, those are serious presents. I have two kinds, and like both. The Cadillac of dryers is the Excalibur. Mine has nine trays, a timer and a thermostat. The hot air blows across the trays, so all dry in equal time. Mine, Model 3926T, sells for around $300 (

For a more economical price you can get a NESCO American Harvester dehydrator. They come with heat and blowing units either on the top of the bottom of a stack of trays. Those closest to the heat dry first, so you have to keep checking them and moving trays around. But they cost only $130 to $150 from the manufacturer ( I like the dehydrator with bottom heat best. But they take longer and use more electricity than the Excalibur (1,000 watts per hour of use versus 660 watts per hour for the Excalibur).

I spend a lot of time working outside when the grass is wet or paths are muddy. I like dry feet, and nothing compares with my Muck brand boots. I’ve had them for more than 10 years, wear them nearly every day in the spring and fall, and they are not even thinking of wearing out. Mine are 10-inch-high slip-ons, green, insulated. Warm. Looking on line, I think it is called the scrub boot. They cost $60 to $70 a pair. Of course I bought mine on sale for less.

At this time of year I’m battling mice and squirrels that want to get in the house to find food and lodging. My old house has a stone foundation, so it lets them in, here and there. Recently I got something called “Mice Magic” from Gardeners Supply (, which claims to repel them — avoiding the need for trapping them.

Mice Magic comes in sachets like tea bags that are very fragrant — with spearmint and peppermint. Each lasts, it says, for 30 days. And one needs only one in a room to discourage the mice. So I have them in my basement and in the attic storage areas that tend to accumulate rodents. So far, they seem to be doing a good job. These would be good presents. A box of a dozen (item #8592441) costs $29.95.

Speaking of mice, I recently got a watering can shaped like a mouse — complete with ears and whiskers! This is a metal watering can for indoor plants that makes me smile every time I use it. It pours nicely and holds a nice amount of water. Available from Gardeners Supply for $19.99. (item #38-315)

Every Christmas, when I write this column, I mention tools, including the CobraHead weeder. This is, simply, the best weeder in America. It’s a single-tined weeder shaped like a bent finger — or a rising cobra. It can get under weeds and grasses, and tease them out. Available at garden centers everywhere and most seed companies, it is also available on line at for $24.95.

I’d also recommend a collapsible rake. These can be adjusted to open widely, to 24 inches, or closed down to just 8 to 12 inches. There are several brands, and prices range from under $10 to about $25. All metal.

Books are great for gardeners, too. This fall I attended a lecture by Thomas Rainer and bought his book, “Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes,” co-authored by Claudia West. It’s an interesting read, presents many provocative ideas, particularly for urban and suburban gardeners. They explain, for example, that we often plant gardens with plants that would never be together in the wild — they have entirely different needs for sun, water, pH — and we could do better planting those that have similar requirements. (Timber Press, $39.95).

Last winter I attended a talk by Celeste Longacre and bought her self-published book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights: Discover the Many Ways a Garden Can Nurture You” (available for $25 at It’s a nice book that not only gives tips for growing vegetables, but also for storing and using them. I got some good tips from it, including a better way to store beets.

So Santa, I don’t really need anything this Christmas, but if you want to drop off a load of reindeer droppings, they’d be great for my compost pile.

— Henry Homeyer’s blog appears twice a week at Write to him at P.O. Box 364, Cornish Flat, NH 03746. Please include a SASE if you wish a mailed response. Or email

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Little Free Garden announces big new partnership

Fargo-Moorhead-based The Little Garden project announced earlier this week that it has partnered with Fargo Stuff, which is a division of Office Sign Co. LLC, 310 NP Ave.

A news release said the new partnership means people can buy a $25 Little Free Garden registration kit, including a placard, booklet of gardening tips, a how-to-build guide and sticker, either by stopping by Office Sign Co. or visiting

Little Free Gardens encourage people to create small gardens where they grow food that anyone who needs or wants produce can get it. The project was launched about two years ago by local organization Ugly Food of the North, which says there are now 120 Little Free Gardens in nine states and Canada, including more than 90 in Fargo-Moorhead.

For more information, visit

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