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Archives for January 5, 2018

Wellacre Academy students win ‘Most Innovative Garden Design’ Award from Royal Horticultural Society

WELLACRE Academy’s green-fingered students have won the ‘Most Innovative Garden Design’ Award in a RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Green Plan-It Challenge regional competition.

The ten-week STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) challenge tasked the group of students to imagine and design a green space for the school, exploring community needs and environmental issues.

The project began with a visit to the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester so that the students could learn more about garden design and the use of plants for texture, space definition, structure and mood.

Year seven students Niall, Shaun and Daniel, alongside Year nines Joe, James and Luke decided to design a space for Year seven and eight in the lower school yard area of school; creating a calming zone as well as a fun area.

Year 7 student, Daniel Craven, said: “We had so much fun building our garden and we won because we were very creative in our design. The judges loved our student hamster wheel energy generator and the maze we designed for students to wander around and reflect. When I told my family, they thought it was brilliant and amazing – it was a really great experience and so good that we won.”

Each school worked alongside an industry mentor. Landscape gardener, Rebecca Knowles visited the academy regularly to support the students’ plan and bring their ideas to life with a scale model of the garden. They learnt how different plants could be utilised for varying spaces and uses, as well first hand experience of the design process, from mood boards and A-maps to model building and presentations.

Mr Asha, teacher of Science, said: “The judges really loved the fact we had renewable energy resources built into the design as well as a rain capture system; they were blown away by the model and the level of detail in it. Our Wellacre students impressed the judges with their design, presentation and articulate delivery; their passion for the challenge clearly shone through.”

The winners were announced on December at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, with Wellacre’s design winning the innovation award. Wellacre competed against 11 other North West schools in presenting their model designs to judges from the horticultural industry and the RHS.

Mr Asha said: “I was so proud to see our students win this award after all their hard work. It was fantastic to see them engaging with our industry mentor, Rebecca. As well as building on their teamwork, creative and presentation skills, they enjoyed learning more about horticulture as a profession. We’d like to thank Rebecca for volunteering to support Wellacre students in this competition; the experience of working with a leading landscape architect was invaluable.”

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Detroit 2020: World-renowned designer recruited for new garden on …

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Could a beautifully designed garden bring more visitors to Belle Isle? In tonight’s Detroit 2020, we uncover another sign of big growth and development in the Motor City. A big name garden designer has a new visions for one of Detroit’s most unique attractions.

DETROIT (WXYZ) – Could a beautifully designed garden bring more visitors to Belle Isle?

In tonight’s Detroit 2020, we uncover another sign of big growth and development in the Motor City.

A big name garden designer has a new visions for one of Detroit’s most unique attractions.

In the dead of winter, it may be hard to picture a green Belle Isle, especially with all the snow.

If you dig down far enough, however, you may find some grass, and that’s the start of a new garden planned by a world-renowned designer, Piet Oudolf.

“It should inspire people,” he said. “There will be trees surrounding the whole park, there are a lot of areas where they can sit on the lawn.”

Oudolf is excited to take an acre and a half of land and turn it a beautiful place for visitors.

“Not only for people, but insects, butterflies, bees. It has so much to offer to the environment. I think that’s also part of my work.”

Oudolf was the plant designer for the gardens in Millennium Park in Chicago and Battery Park in New York City.

He’s been dubbed the rock star of garden design.

“I always act like I don’t hear it.”

The Garden Club of Michigan is working with Oudolf, hoping to have the garden ready in two years.

“How it comes from nothing to something,” he said. “Thinking about the concept, we have a rough idea. It will be a perennial garden.”

The organization is hoping to raise more than $2.75 million dollars to pay for the project.

The Dutch designer says he is excited to bring his garden ideas to Detroit.

“It doesn’t feel like a big city. It’s so spread everywhere. It feels so open,” he added. “There is so much energy, there’s so much going on on a small scale that I feel so much engaged.”

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Renowned garden designer sets sights on Belle Isle

Just days into his first visit to Detroit this past spring, world-renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf asked his hosts to return to Belle Isle, the site where he’d been asked to work his magic, to look around one more time.

Driving around the island with members of the Garden Club of Michigan, who’d asked Oudolf to come to Detroit, they neared the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon, a bell tower. Oudolf asked them to stop the car.

“He literally got out of the car, put his arms out and said, ‘Here is where my garden should go,’” recalled Maura Campbell, the club’s former president who was part of the group that gave Oudolf a tour. “It was like something out of a movie.”

Now the movie is coming to life. Oudolf, a superstar gardener who has designed gardens all over the world, including the Lurie Garden at Chicago’s Millennium Park and the High Line in New York, plans to transform a 6-acre site near Belle Isle’s Carillon with a 1.5-acre garden. The garden will likely be a mix of native and non-native plants that Oudolf hopes will inspire and surprise those who visit it.

“Surprise is something I always like to see,” said Oudolf during a meeting Thursday with reporters at Belle Isle’s Flynn Pavilion.

Oudolf — who was been called the most influential garden designer of the past 25 years — says he chose the site that he did because of its proximity to several of Belle Isle’s focal points: the pavilion, the Carillon Tower (named after former Detroit News advice columnist Nancy Brown) and the band shell.

“This garden will be a centerpoint between all these already existing buildings which (will) make it even more attractive to go to,” said Oudolf.

Oudolf’s garden comes at a significant time not only in Belle Isle’s history as the state Department of Natural Resources transforms the island into a state park but also the city’s, say garden proponents. Some hope that Oudolf’s garden is the first of several projects he’ll do in the city. Oudolf called the Belle Isle project “the beginning” on Thursday but didn’t commit to more.

“We’re excited to see what this could do,” said Campbell. “No city in the world has more greenspace opportunities than Detroit.”

But first volunteers will need to raise more than $2.5 million, which will cover the installation of the garden and its maintenance. Oudolf requires funds to maintain his gardens are raised up front, said Campbell. Installation will likely begin next year.

Getting Oudolf to Detroit wasn’t easy. Brainstorming ideas to do something big in the city, Garden Club of Michigan member Jean Hudson proposed reaching out to Oudolf to design something in Detroit, said Campbell. Oudolf has been compared to famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted who designed New York’s Central Park and Belle Isle.

Oudolf’s’ work “isn’t pretentious,” said Hudson, who first saw one of Oudolf’s gardens in New York and felt a connection to it. “It looks native and natural.”

But no one had any contacts with Oudolf. They reached out to filmmaker Tom Piper, whose film “Five Seasons with Piet Oudolf” will air Thursday night at the Detroit Film Theatre as a fundraiser for the Belle Isle project, who thought he might be interested.

In the end, Campbell says they mailed Oudolf a letter in late 2016. And in many ways, it was a love letter about Detroit, she said. It worked.

“We got a letter back in late 2016 and he said he would be interested,” said Campbell.

Oudolf, who toured Detroit in April, said he felt excited after his first visit to the city. And while he shrugs off comparisons to Olmsted, he said his legacy is about making gardens better.

The project is about creating something “for the park, but also for myself and for all people who love gardens,” said Oudolf.

Belle Isle was a natural choice for Oudolf’s garden given its connection to the Garden Club, which dates back 100 years.

“It’s also the living room, backyard and gathering space that brings Detroiters and people from the region together,” said Campbell.

Oudolf on Thursday didn’t get into specifics about the kinds of plants he’ll use in the Belle Isle garden, but said he never uses the same pattern and so much about garden design is about context, scale and composition. Oudolf said his designs are about creating a “community of plants” that will work well together.

“It will need to work all seasons and should be interesting from early spring to mid to late December,” he said. “We will try to keep the interest going year-round.”

And state officials hope the garden will have a spillover effect. Keith Creagh, the director of the state’s natural resources departments, hopes to use Oudolf’s garden as a “catalyst” to improve that entire portion of Belle Isle.

“Let’s figure out how we can make it a world-class area,” said Creagh on Thursday.

(313) 223-4686

Twitter: @mfeighan

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Join Master Gardeners Feb. 10 for a trip to Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo

If you’ve never been to the Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo in Madison, perhaps this is the year you should go. If you’ve been to the expo before, you’ll surely want to go again! Save yourself the stress of driving, worrying about the weather, and parking, and ride to the event along with Winnebago County Master Gardeners on a deluxe motorcoach.

Join us Feb. 10 for a trip to the 25th Annual Garden Expo at Alliant Energy Center. The event celebrates the latest trends in gardening and landscaping and attracts more than 20,000 people from throughout the Midwest. Connect with other gardening enthusiasts to share ideas, gain inspiration and create something new. The day will be filled with visits to several hundred exhibitor booths, the opportunity to choose from almost 100 workshops and seminars, and a chance to have your gardening questions answered by experts. 

Two to four seminars begin every 15 minutes throughout the day so you could conceivably sit in on eight or nine seminars or demonstrations if you wish. Seminar leaders are university professors, UW-Extension personnel and owners of gardening and landscaping businesses — all true experts in their fields.

Some of the seminars offered that day include the following: Shrubberies for Impact, Year Round Garden-tainment — Plant it, Eat it, Enjoy, How to Grow the Best Tomatoes, Making the Most of a Small Space, Pollinator Friendly Gardening, Flower Arranging with Native Plants, Garden Talk with WPR’s Larry Meiller, Gardening Simplified, The Budget-Wise Gardener, Vegetable Gardening A-Z, Diseases of Vegetables, Organic Landscape Maintenance Practices, Growing Garlic in Wisconsin, Gardening for Hummingbirds and dozens more.   

You can plan your day in advance by checking the seminar and demonstration schedule at or just play it by ear when you get there. “Make and Take” seminars usually require pre-registration.

The motorcoach leaves Oshkosh from the Coughlin Center on County Highway Y across from the fairgrounds at 7 a.m., and the former JC Penney parking lot on Koeller Street (east frontage road just north of State Highway 44) at 7:15 a.m. An additional pickup is available in Fond du Lac at the Old Home Depot on Johnson Street across from Forest Mall at 7:30 a.m. After the Expo, meet back at the bus at 5 p.m. for a 5:15 departure for home. Return to Oshkosh is about 6:30 p.m.

Trip cost of $35 through Feb. 1, and $40 thereafter, includes transportation and admission to the Expo. The cost is non-refundable, but you can send someone in your place if you find you are unable to attend after signing up. Bring your own lunch, drinks and snacks or purchase food from onsite vendors. Send checks payable to WCMGA, c/o Marge Menacher, to 4105 Westview Lane, Oshkosh, WI 54904. Include your name, address, phone number, email and choice of pickup location with your payment.

Please direct questions to Marge Menacher at or call her at 920-233-3467.

Lawanda Jungwirth is a UW-Extension Master Gardener. Email her at


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Side hustles you can start with no money

Starting a business is often a pricey ordeal, but no- to low-cost ideas exist for aspiring entrepreneurs with unique and marketable talent.

Take inventory of the skills you already possess, recommends Holly Reisem Hanna, founder of career blog The Work at Home Woman . List your past jobs, education, training, passions, skills and talents to help identify vocational patterns and interests that can guide you toward your new business venture.

“In this exercise, you want to go deep,” she says, “so include what you liked and didn’t like about past jobs, training and schooling.”

Need more small business ideas to get the wheels turning? Consider these classic business ideas you can start with no immediate costs.


Your best assets are the knowledge and skills you already have. So whether you’re a math whiz, grammar guru or musical wunderkind, consider selling your well-honed expertise. While you may eventually want to spend a few dollars to get the word out about your services — beyond, say, your social media contacts — you already have the tools you need to get started, which will help keep overhead low.


Everyday home maintenance and repairs have a habit of piling up, so if you’re naturally handy around the house, consider positioning yourself as a master of manual labor. Start by specializing in a niche area, like building your expertise in painting or landscaping to help build credibility among clients and not overextend yourself.


More and more companies are looking to freelancers, or independent contractors, to lower their in-house costs, giving creative types — writers, photographers, designers — an opportunity to share their talents with multiple clients.


Americans shell out big bucks when it comes to their pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, pet owners spent $66.8 billion on their animals in 2016, with $5.8 billion of that going toward services like grooming and boarding. If pets are your passion, you can start a dog-walking or pet-sitting business for little to no money. Later on, you might take it a step further and become a trainer, though you’ll want to invest in a certification to give your business credibility.


Cashing in on the fitness craze is a great idea for the athletically blessed, and there are no required costs for starting out. You can start by working out with clients in public spaces like parks and focusing on body-resistance exercises. Take your hustle to the next level by investing in some gear, like resistance bands or weights, to keep your clients progressing_and coming back to you for more. While there are no state or federal laws regulating who can and cannot declare themselves a personal trainer, a potential cost (and a worthwhile one, at that) is getting certified by an industry organization like the American Council on Exercise. You’ll also want to consider liability insurance to cover any client injuries that may happen while you’re training them.


Hanna recommends avoiding work in highly regulated industries, like health care, because the guidelines can be hard to navigate. Even outside of tricky industries, there are common pitfalls to avoid when pursuing your side job:

— Don’t jeopardize your main hustle. You may need to maintain full-time employment to generate income while your business is getting off the ground. It’s crucial you don’t allocate your best self to your side hustle and phone it in on your regular job. It’s also good to double-check your contract — you don’t want to start a new business only to realize you signed a noncompete clause with your full-time employer.

— Look into licensing and certificates. Keeping overhead costs low is important, but there are some corners you don’t want to cut. Even if you’re building a business off of your existing skills, like cutting hair or baking, for example, make sure you follow regulatory guidelines for your industry. If you plan to run your business from your home, check your home insurance policy for what incidents are covered and which ones aren’t, and buy riders accordingly for added protection.

This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Jackie Zimmermann is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: Twitter: @jackie_zm.


NerdWallet: Guide to starting a business

The Work at Home Woman

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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9 groups to receive Greening of Arkansas grants; includes PB agency

Nine Arkansas communities will share $15,000 in grant funding through the Greening of Arkansas Grant Program. Locally, the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Clean and Beautiful Commission received an award.

Developed and managed by the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show board in 2006, the program is intended to support the development and care of community gardens, parks, and other public green spaces throughout Arkansas.

Recipients of the grant funding, which range from $700 to $2,500, were selected by a three-person committee. Recipients include:

• The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Clean and Beautiful Commission will receive $2,500 to enhance a community garden with fruit trees and rose bushes.

• Southern Arkansas University Tech at East Camden will receive $2,500 to landscape an area to display a Rocket Monument.

• Seven Hills Garden in Fayetteville. The Seven Hills Homeless Shelter will receive $700 to create a small garden at the shelter.

• The Boone County Master Gardeners in Harrison will receive $1,200 to establish a pollinator garden for use in education and demonstrations.

• The Pulaski County Master Gardeners in Little Rock will receive $2,500 to plant a demonstration garden for horticultural education.

• The Pulaski Heights Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association in Little Rock will receive $1,500 to establish a small green space for students and public use.

• Audubon Arkansas at Little Rock will receive $1,100 to improve native plant demonstration gardens.

• The Paron Community Center in Paron will receive $1,000 to improve the landscaping around the center.

• Five Rivers Historic Preservation Inc. at Pocahontas will receive $2,000 to create a green space near the Arts District in downtown Pocahontas.

The nine communities were contacted in late December that their respective grant applications had been approved.

The committee judges grant applications according to criteria designed to support the committee’s vision, while keeping the goal of geographic dispersion in mind, when possible.

In addition to the grant funding, thousands of dollars in proceeds from the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show also go toward funding students studying horticulture in Arkansas.

Krista Quinn, the former executive director of the show, said the beautification grants help fulfil a key component of the show’s foundational purpose.

“The Greening of Arkansas grant program is an important part of the Arkansas Flower Garden Show’s mission,” Quinn said. “Many studies have shown that there are huge economic and social benefits when communities have attractive public areas and green spaces.

“Our grant program often gives communities the start-up funding they need to create civic plantings to beautify spaces their residents use on a daily basis,” she said. “This can promote community pride, increase the enjoyment of these spaces, and even attract new business and tourism in some areas.”

Quinn, who had been director since 2008, recently stepped down from her post after accepting a position with the Arkansas Forestry Commission. In December, the show’s board of directors voted to hire Mary Beth Rogers as the new executive director. Rogers has served as the executive secretary of the Arkansas Turfgrass Association since 2009.

The 2018 Arkansas Flower and Garden Show will take place March 2-4 at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds. The theme is “Imagine the Possibilities.”


— Ryan McGeeney is with the U of A System Division of Agriculture.

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Belton’s Professional Lawn Care & Landscaping Services Committed to Keeping Gardens Fresh and Yards Looking …


Durham, North Carolina Belton’s Professional Lawn Care Landscaping is a company focused on making sure that gardens, lawns, and yards are given the right care to remain fresh and look great daily. Serving key areas in North Carolina like Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and Morrisville, the group offers great services that are reasonably priced. With flexible and affordable yard maintenance plans, keeping landscapes green and fresh just got easier with Belton’s Professional Lawn Care Landscaping.

Several homeowners have already tried the services of Belton’s Professional Lawn Care Landscaping and most have been raving about the results. Michael McGrath expressed his approval and vowed to avail of Belton’s Professional Lawn Care Landscaping services again in the future. “Dude was working on my neighbor’s lawn. I asked him for prices and he offered to stay and work on my yard too. The prices were awesome compared to the big box providers that don’t care about your lawn. He also did multiple passes and took pride in his work. Will be calling him for more work in the spring.”

Maintaining a garden, lawn, or yard takes a lot of time and hard work. Pressed for time, some call on local gardeners or even pay inexperienced individuals to do it for them. While that may be cost-efficient, the desired results may not exactly turn out the way most want it to. When attention to detail and quality counts, it would be best to try out the specialty services of Belton’s Professional Lawn Care Landscaping. For those who don’t have the time, investing in true professionals is wiser than contracting people simply there to earn a buck.

Belton’s Professional Lawn Care Landscaping is not limited to cleaning backyards or monthly lawn maintenance. They also offer other services including landscaping services, tree services, and home services (i.e. gutter cleaning, pressure washing, or tile work). With so much to offer, all a person has to do is pick up the phone or sit down with them to discuss work.

Belton’s Professional Lawn Care Landscaping is located at 2511 Camellia Dr. Durham, NC 27705. Appointments and quotes for lawn services can be made by phone at (919) 590-5221 or via email at [email protected] For potential customers who want to learn more about the company and open to trying out free estimates, this can be done online at

Media Contact
Company Name: Belton’s Professional Lawn Care Landscaping
Contact Person: Julian Belton
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (919) 590-5221
Address:2511 Camellia Dr.
City: Durham
State: North Carolina
Country: United States

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SAU Tech gets grants for monument landscaping

Southern Arkansas University Tech in East Camden has received a $2,500 Greening of Arkansas grant.

The Arkansas Flower Garden Show created the grant program in 2006. Funds come from proceeds from the annual Arkansas Flower and Garden Show.

More than $95,000 has been given to communities to beautify public areas such as parks, community entrances, and schools.

The SAU Tech grant will go toward the landscaping of an area to display a “Rocket Monument.”

The other recipients included:

— The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Clean and Beautiful Commission will receive $2,500 to enhance a community garden with fruit trees and rose bushes.

— Seven Hills Garden in Fayetteville. The Seven Hills Homeless Shelter will receive $700 to create a small garden at the shelter.

— The Boone County Master Gardeners in Harrison will receive $1,200 to establish a pollinator garden for use in education and demonstrations.

— The Pulaski County Master Gardeners in Little Rock will receive $2,500 to plant a demonstration garden for horticultural education.

— The Pulaski Heights Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association in Little Rock will receive $1,500 to establish a small green space for students and public use.

— Audubon Arkansas at Little Rock will receive $1,100 to improve native plant demonstration gardens.

— The Paron Community Center in Paron will receive $1,000 to improve the landscaping around the center.

— Five Rivers Historic Preservation Inc. at Pocahontas will receive $2,000 to create a green space near the Arts District in downtown Pocahontas.

Grants are awarded to non-profit and civic groups for beautification projects on public land.

Grant amounts are up to $2,500, and 50 percent of the funds must be used for plant material (trees, shrubs, and flowers.)

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Gardening with Allen: Get to know easy to grow trailing houseplants

Allen Wilson is a Vancouver gardening specialist. Email Allen Wilson at

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