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Archives for November 28, 2017

Founder of Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek dies at 109

WALNUT CREEK — Ruth Bancroft, a renowned expert on drought-tolerant plants and founder of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, died at her Walnut Creek home Nov. 26. She was 109.

Bancroft was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Berkeley. Although she studied architecture at UC Berkeley, the 1929 stock market crash derailed her career plans. Instead, Bancroft earned a home arts degree and later taught high school. In 1939, she married Philip Bancroft Jr., whose family owned a 400-acre walnut and pear farm in Walnut Creek, according to a news release.

The Southwest Sunset Social at the Ruth Bancroft Garden recently welcomed a surprise visitor, Ruth Bancroft, shortly before her 107th birthday. She joined the festivities to meet wildlife ambassadors from Lindsay Wildlife Experience.
The Southwest Sunset Social at the Ruth Bancroft Garden recently welcomed a surprise visitor, Ruth Bancroft, shortly before her 107th birthday. She joined the festivities to meet wildlife ambassadors from Lindsay Wildlife Experience. 

Bancroft had a keen intellect and an insatiable curiosity about plants and nature. She collected and categorized seashells and planted flower gardens around the home she shared with her husband and three children on the Bancroft property.

In 1950, Bancroft bought her first succulent and eventually she collected greenhouses full of the hardy plants. After selling plots of land to residential developers, in 1971 the Bancroft family cut down their last walnut orchard and Philip Bancroft Jr. gave his wife the 3.5 acres to plant her succulents.

Working with Lester Hawkins, co-founder of Western Hills nursery in Occidental, Bancroft designed the garden’s intricate layout to display the beauty and diversity of succulents, cactuses and other drought-tolerant plants.

Sally Ingraham, who lived next door to the Bancroft family farm in the 1960s, described Bancroft as a kind, thoughtful woman who was highly respected by the community.

“She was dedicated to that garden and with her talent and her ability it became something that was worth saving and quite unique,” said Ingraham, 90, a founding member of the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

“People come from all over the United States and even the world to see it because it’s so beautiful and so well-designed.”

Bancroft worked in the garden everyday until she was 97 years old, although she did take time off every once in a while to attend the opera, according to Gretchen Bartzen, director of fundraising and development and former executive director of the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

Bancroft often toiled in the sweltering Walnut Creek heat, without taking many breaks, Bartzen said, but she would have a beer with a visitor and talk about plants.

“Ruth had a great eye for garden design, the art of arranging plants to create unique compositions,” close friend and garden curator Brian Kemble said in a statement. “But beyond this, she was awed by the plants themselves, thinking of each kind as a near-magical product of the creative expression of Mother Nature … There was a joy in the way she related to plants which will always stay with me.”

With the help of New York-based The Garden Conservancy, the Bancroft family formed the nonprofit Ruth Bancroft Garden on Bancroft Road which is protected by a conservation easement. It opened to the public in the early 1990s. In August, the garden broke ground on a visitor and education center with space for events and classes as well as offices for staff.

Walnut Creek Councilwoman Cindy Silva described Bancroft’s garden as both artistic and educational.

“It’s just beautiful to look at, but her biggest gift, I think, to the community in developing and nurturing that garden is it taught us to respect the environment we live in and that beauty can come in even the driest of climates,” Silva said.

For Bancroft, gardening was a form of self-expression and relaxation, said Bartzen, adding that visitors encounter a world of beauty where they also can truly be themselves.

“I think there’s something important and organically necessary about a public garden and people want that, they don’t want that to go away, it’s a treasure,” she said. “This little woman did this huge thing all by herself.”

Bancroft is survived by her children Peter Bancroft, Nina Dickerson and Kathy Hidalgo and four grandchildren. The Bancroft family and the Ruth Bancroft Garden plan to hold a memorial for Ruth Bancroft in the garden in the spring.

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Editor’s Letter: A Fresh Look – Garden & Gun

If we’re doing our job well, magazine editors spend the better part of most days thinking about our readers—what stories will interest them, what will surprise them, what photos will captivate them, what headlines will draw them in. But no matter how much thought and effort go into a magazine’s content, everything rides on the back of good design. For the past year we’ve been thinking a lot about the design of Garden Gun, and we decided that as we came to the close of our tenth-anniversary year and looked ahead to 2018 and beyond, the time was right for a true refresh. 

Award-winning design director and Memphis native Marshall McKinney led the charge. As a nine-year veteran of GG, he was tasked with giving the pages a more modern feel while retaining the clean, crisp, and elegant look the magazine is known for. Working alongside McKinney were design consultant Tom Brown of TBA+D, photography director Maggie Brett Kennedy, art director Julia Knetzer, and associate photo editor Margaret Houston. You’ll notice we updated fonts, eliminated some visual clutter, and refined the overall reading experience. We even added a section, Jubilee, to serve as the new home for our food and drink coverage. A celebration of the Southern table, it contains some of your favorite regular columns, including Kim Severson’s Anatomy of a Classic and John T. Edge’s Fork in the Road, plus a few surprises. 

If we’ve accomplished our goal, the new look should feel effortless. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to an eclectic mix of great stories and stunning photography, and of course our love of a good dog. The cover of this year’s sporting issue is graced by a twelve-week-old springer spaniel puppy named Cragtopp Crawford of Tibea—or Rodney, for short. Rodney belongs to trainer Robin Watson of Tibea Gundogs in Lancaster, South Carolina. The pup arrived in the States from England just a few weeks before our cover shoot. For now, there’s not much training for Rodney, just exploratory walks and the occasional quick game of fetch. “We let them have their childhood before going to school,” Watson says. But soon they’ll begin work on basic obedience before moving on to flushing and retrieving, and before long he’ll be ready for the field.

A good gundog is always evolving, much like a magazine. Speaking of which, we hope you like the changes we’ve made to GGDon’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts.


Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @davedibenedetto

Subscribe to Garden Gun today—or give a gift subscription for the holidays.

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VR Retail launches 3-D garden design app

The 2018 iLandscape Show will feature Animal Planet television star and tree house master Pete Nelson as its keynote speaker. The show takes place Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2018, at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Nelson will kick off the event with a keynote presentation at 10:15 a.m. on Jan. 31 in Discovery Hall. Attendees will learn about Nelson’s path to a unique, tree-centric career. He will discuss his projects and the lessons he’s learned in his 30 years as a professional tree house designer.

The show will also offer educational sessions, which will include topics such as efficient operations, goal setting, container gardening secrets, soil health, customer service, communication, installation techniques and plant material. Spanish language educational sessions will also be available.

In addition, students are invited to attend the 2018 iLandscape show any day at no cost, as long as their college or university is registered. On Feb. 2, the show will host a career day where students can participate in a mentor walkabout to introduce them to top industry professionals. There will also be student roundtable discussions with a team of landscape professionals representing several areas of the landscape industry.

More details are available about the show online. To register for the show, click here.

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How Can We Fix The City’s Worsening Architecture?

Hulking buildings with no aesthetic value keep popping up all around Denver. Here’s why you should care.

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CrowdReviews Partnered with acm Events to Announce: The 4th Edition of Future Landscape & Public Realm Qatar …

Naples, FL, November 27, 2017 — The 4th Annual Future Landscape Public Realm Qatar conference has been launched successfully today as part of Qatar Sustainability Week 2017. The conference was held at Intercontinental Hotel The City, Doha.

Dr. Anna Grichting Solder from the College of Engineering at Qatar University chaired the conference. Whilst Mona Noureldin Mohamed from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment delivered a presentation titled “Vibrant Qatar – towards Creating community-based open spaces and public parks.”

Ghazi Elsherif from Public Works Authority “Ashghal” presented the opportunities of using thermal dried sludge and treated sewage effluent in Qatar’s landscaping industry.

Another interesting presentation was delivered by Energy City Qatar (ECQ)’s representative Mohamad Diab about ECQ landscape and public realm design.

The conference ended with a panel discussion on designing a fully functional and pedestrian friendly public realm through effective strategies. The panel discussion included Don Sharp from Parsons, Mona Noureldin Mohamed from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and Mohamed M. Hassona from The Qur’anic Botanic Garden.

The event included a networking break that brought together all attendees, speakers and sponsors in a professional friendly atmosphere.

The first day of Future Landscape Public Realm Qatar created the perfect platform for the attendees to build relations, exchange ideas and seize business opportunities throughout the ACMi+ interface that allowed for many networking breaks which created a dynamic, efficient and relevant learning environment.

Many key players participated in this event, to name a few: Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’, Parsons, Energy City Qatar, Cracknell, The Qur’anic Botanic Garden, Qatar Green Building Council, Richer Environments Qatar, Isocarp, College of Engineering – Qatar University and University of Wisconsin, Marinette.

Solution providers like Nakheel Landscapes, Aqua Masters, Ghesa, WATERMASTER, WT Burden, and Marshalls showcased their newest technologies and solutions in the field of landscaping and public realm.

Day two of the conference featured many more interesting presentations, to name a few: The influence of landscape architects in shaping the public realm, the benefits of investment in green roofs to Increases property value and a panel session on green spaces and corridors in urban areas.

For more information, please visit: or contact Jessica Bou Samra at [email protected]

ACM – Advanced Conferences Meetings, part of IFP Group, is a premium B2B conferences company focused on the requirements of the MENA region. ACM’s specialized events and world-class conferences are highly tailored networking and learning opportunities, bringing senior decision makers together and providing up-to-the-minute information on industry trends, government initiatives, technological advances and developments in regulation. As such, ACM conferences act not only as extremely effective tools for gaining business advantage, but also as high level platforms for change in the industries they serve. Some of the sectors ACM has specialized in: Construction and Infrastructure, Energy and Utilities, Smart Mobility and Transport, Security and Law Enforcement, Technology and Innovation.

Reinforced by profound industry insights and a keen eye for developments in the region, ACM conferences harbor an ideal environment for small, medium and multinational companies to unravel business opportunities, learn about government initiatives, discover latest technologies, promote and sell their products whilst nurturing relations with existing and potential clients.

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Former Wildflower site opens as park in downtown Boca Raton

The former Wildflower property in downtown Boca has officially opened as a public park, marking the end of years of controversy over what to do with the space.

The city on Monday opened the park’s gates to the public, after the site at 551 E. Palmetto Park Road sat cordoned off and unused for more than a decade.

The 2.3-acre unnamed park is mostly a slab of pavement, but it will eventually include walkways and grassy areas.

For now, residents can use the space to park for free from 8 a.m. until dusk. In addition, it will serve as a viewing spot for the city’s Holiday Boat Parade on Dec. 16.

Global Gardening Tools Market Is Expected to Grow at a CAGR of 1.6% During 2017 to 2025

According to a recent report by Persistence Market Research (PMR). PMR’s report estimates the global sales of gardening tools to expand from nearly 280,000 ‘000 units in 2017 to surpass 300,000 ‘000 units by 2025-end.

This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire

Albany, NY — (SBWIRE) — 11/27/2017 — In terms of volume, the global gardening tools market is projected to register 1.6% CAGR during the forecast period 2017 to 2025, according to a recent report by Persistence Market Research (PMR). PMR’s report estimates the global sales of gardening tools to expand from nearly 280,000 ‘000 units in 2017 to surpass 300,000 ‘000 units by 2025-end.

People in developed economies consider home improvement and small maintenance activities as a favorable pastime. For leveraging benefits of changing consumer preferences towards “do it yourself” (DIY) ethics, gardening tool manufacturers are now focusing on the provision of cost-efficient, portable and compact solutions to household users. This trend is witnessing a rapid growth in well urbanized markets as well as in developing economies including Brazil, South Africa, China, and India. This is further expected to pave significant opportunities for growth of the household gardening tools market in the near future.

Read Report @

Europe will Continue to be the Largest Market for Gardening Tools

Europe will continue to be the largest market for gardening tools, with sales pegged to reach nearly 100,000 ‘000 units in 2017. Among real estate agents and city planners of Europe, demand for landscaping in residential as well as commercial areas has witnessed a rise, for providing an aesthetic appeal to these properties. This is expected to drive growth of the market in Europe. In addition, factors such as restoration of native plants to residential landscapes, increasing popularity of houseplants for improvement of air quality and human productivity, and utilization of plants as food source within the residence are further expected to influence the market growth of gardening tools in Europe.

Utilization of artificial turfs and synthetic grass has witnessed a tremendous surge beyond sports field to commercial as well as residential landscaping in Europe, owing to surging emphasis on water conservation. In addition, synthetic grass and sports turfs provide a natural look and aesthetic appeal, and require low maintenance cost, which is further fuelling their adoption. These factors are anticipated to impede growth of the market in Europe.

Increasing DIY Attitude and Availability of Modern-Design Tools to Fuel the Market Growth in North America

In terms of volume, North America is estimated to remain the second-most lucrative market for gardening tools. According to the rules and regulations of the U.S. government, community gardens are considered to be an imperative part of the society, which is expected to favor growth of the gardening tools market in North America. In addition, increasing DIY attitude among North American people, and surging availability of different modern-design tools for various garden sizes are other factors fostering the market growth in North America.

However, increasing consumer preference of power tools over hand tools, which offer easy operation and time saving, is estimated to restrain growth of the gardening tools market in North America.

Pruning Tools will Remain Sought-After among Products in the Market

By product type, pruning tools will remain sought-after in the market, with sales estimated to surpass 100,000 ‘000 units by 2025-end. In addition, shears will remain the top-selling product among pruning tools in the global gardening tools market. In terms of volume, other hand tools segment, which includes hoe, trowel, weeder, rake, and pitchfork, is expected to expand at the second-highest 1.4% CAGR through 2025.

Gardening tools will witness largest adoption for residential use, on the back of increasing demand for indoor plants. Demand for gardening tools in commercial use will remain comparatively lower than residential use during the forecast period.

In terms of volume, retail stores will remain the largest sale channel for gardening tools in the global market. In addition, sales of gardening tools through online and distributors will collectively account for around 200,000 ‘000 units by 2025-end, online sales channel being more lucrative than the distributor sales channel.

Request Sample Report@

Key market players identified in PMR’s report include Stanley Black Decker, Inc., Fiskars Group, Q.E.P. Co., Inc., Husqvarna Group, FELCO S.A., The Ames Companies, Inc., ANDREAS STIHL AG Co. KG, CobraHead LLC, Estwing Manufacturing Company, Seymour Midwest, Lasher Tools, Zenport Industries, Bully Tools, Inc., Corporacion Patricio Echeverria, Ray Padula Holdings, LLC, Radius Garden, Joseph Bentley Traditional Garden Tools, Garden Tool Company, SNA Europe, Root Assassin Shovel LLC.

For more information on this press release visit:

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Annual Christmas Open House at Ladew Topiary Gardens

MONKTON — The holidays come to Ladew Gardens as local floral designers and garden clubs are invited to decorate the rooms of the circa 1747 Manor House, adorning the walls, tabletops and fireplace mantels in festive holiday splendor.

Ladew’s Christmas Open House has been called “one of Maryland’s most memorable and decorative holiday events.” The Christmas Open House takes place Friday, Dec. 8 through Sunday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Visitors to the Christmas Open House are also invited to shop at Ladew’s Greens Sale featuring hand-crafted fresh holiday decorations — wreaths, table arrangements, kissing balls and decorations — lovingly created through the generosity of design professionals and volunteers. Guests are also treated to complimentary cider and cookies.

Proceeds from the open house and greens sale benefit Ladew’s Manor House, 22-acre gardens, 60-acre Nature Walk and Butterfly House. The Manor House at Ladew Gardens, filled with equestrian and fox hunting memorabilia, fine art and English antiques, is a living legacy to the style, elegance and wit of Harvey S. Ladew, the man who created it.

The Ladew Gift Shop will be open during the Christmas Open House, offering seasonal gifts and decorative items for home and garden, and unique selections for holiday giving. The Ladew Café will be open for lunch, snacks and hot cocoa (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Weather permitting, the 22-acre gardens will also be open for self-guided tours during the open house.

Ladew’s Christmas Open House is sponsored in part by TDH Landscaping. Support for this event has also been provided by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Harford County Cultural Arts Board.

Admission to the Christmas Open House is $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, $4 for children ages 2 through 12, and free for Ladew members. For ticket information, call 410-557-9570 or visit

Ladew is located on Jarrettsville Pike (MD 146), 14 miles north of the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), exit 27B (Dulaney Valley Road North).

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Fairchild’s Tropical Garden Column: Begonia are a S. Florida gardener’s best friend

Bounteous begonias deserve a featured place in our landscaping. Their sheer variety, adaptability and ease of care make them suitable for subtropical gardens. In South Florida, they are a gardener’s best friend.

Begonias always make me think of a stereotypical grandma’s garden — nice, but not exactly hip. Like most stereotypes, we sustain this one at our loss. Here are some begonia basics for growing and appreciating this amazing genus of plants.

Begonia leaves are usually asymmetric. How cool is that? Symmetry is the rule in nature. Just look at ferns. Divide a fern frond and you have close to a mirror image of each side. Not begonias. Their flowers are also unusual — sepals and petals are often nearly impossible to tell apart, so they are collectively called tepals.

Now if you see an asymmetric leaf, you might reasonably think of begonias, but identifying species and cultivated varieties can be impossible outside a botany laboratory. Their forms can vary from miniature terrarium plants to tall cane begonias, with leaves that range in color from shiny solid green to pebbled silver and black, or even with an iron-cross pattern. There’s just indescribable variety.

Gardening events starting Nov. 29

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