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Archives for January 15, 2018

Suresnes Cités Danse 2018, Théâtre Jean Vilar, Suresnes, France — the Rite choice?

Keep abreast of significant corporate, financial and political developments around the world. Stay informed and spot emerging risks and opportunities with independent global reporting, expert commentary and analysis you can trust.

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Lessons in Luxury: How Cambodia’s new design destination is helping the planet

You have to be a bit crazy for people to take notice,” said hotel designer Bill Bensley, before I became the first journalist to check in to Shinta Mani Angkor – Bensley Collection in Siem Reap, Cambodia. A distillation of 30 years’ experience, it’s the first venture to be operated as well as conceived by him. His portfolio of 200 properties includes landmarks for Four Seasons and St Regis, so I expect big things and a few surprises.

The biggies are hard to miss: the Collection comprises 10 slick one-bedroom villas set in a shaded compound next to Siem Reap’s royal residence. My two-level abode features a 30ft pool that I can jump into straight from my bedroom; a roof terrace with daybed that’s perfect for sundowners or a night’s slumber al fresco; a bathtub set in a private garden and shrouded by foliage; and – why not? – a gargantuan mural depicting the feet and rippling robes of Jayavarman, a 12th-century Khmer king who commissioned many of the most beautiful temples at nearby Angkor.

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National Gardening Bureau offers grants for 2018


The annual Rutgers Gardens plant and flower sale in New Brunswick.STAFF VIDEO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

In its commitment to promote gardening to gardeners and non-gardeners alike, the National Gardening Bureau (NGB) has grant awards available in 2018. A nonprofit organization, the NGB exists to educate, inspire and motivate people to increase the use of plants in homes, gardens and workplaces by being the marketing arm of the gardening industry. 

NGB members are experts in the field of horticulture and information comes directly from these sources.

“Caring for plants and experiencing nature brings healing and purpose to people whose lives have been affected by illness, addiction, violence or military service,” said Heather Kibble, NGB president.

“National Garden Bureau, in partnership with local therapeutic organizations, strives to make gardening accessible to everyone, no matter their situation, history or abilities. Our garden grant program impacts individual lives using garden-based education and therapy.”

Five years ago, the NGB made a commitment to give back to those who are actively pursuing and promoting gardening. NGB Executive Director Diane Blazek shared in phone interview last month that discussion varied about how the NGB might execute a give-back.

“We finally decided to focus on therapeutic gardens so I came back to my office and started doing some research,” Blazek said. “Our first year, we chose to conduct a fundraiser for a vocational therapeutic garden, Growing Solutions Farm in Chicago, that had just been launched a year or two prior. 

“Every year since, we have simply created $5,000 worth of grants, solicited applications for those grants, narrow the many choices down to three then get the public involved in deciding the first, second and third place winners for the grants. In 2017, the NGB received 47 grant applications. We were very pleased at the number and quality of therapeutic gardens that are out there.”

To date no applications have come in from New Jersey.

The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA), developed the first therapeutic garden characteristics in 1995. A therapeutic garden is designed for use as a component of a treatment, rehabilitation or vocational program.

A garden can be described as being therapeutic in nature when it has been designed to meet the needs of a specific user or population. It is designed to accommodate participant’s goals and to facilitate people-plant interactions.

A horticultural therapist uses a therapeutic garden as a tool to engage a participant in horticultural activities. Therapeutic gardens incorporating the AHTA Therapeutic Garden Design Characteristics are gardens designed to provide a horticultural therapy environment.

Also a nonprofit organization, the AHTA defines and encourages the pursuit of standards of practice, disseminates critical knowledge across diverse constituent audiences, and recognizes and promotes excellence in clinical, professional, educational and research achievement. 

Membership in the AHTA is comprised of individuals and organizations from throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan and beyond. 

Criteria for the NGB therapeutic grant can be found at For more information, email or call  630-963-0770.

READ: Gardener State: Jersey Fresh all winter long

READ: The versatility of container gardening

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Start the year with success – Lawn & Landscape

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NERD WALLET: Side hustles you can start with no money





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Ten resolutions for the home gardener

Reflecting on the many current issues and concerns, it is tempting to feel overwhelmed and rather helpless, to shrug off action with the attitude, “I’m only one person, what can I do?”

But even in your own gardens, we can do much to address the problems of modern life. We can make a significant difference in out individual lives, and gardeners collectively could have an impact on many of the nation’s problems. Now is the time to make a commitment to the future with resolutions we will carry through.

1. Fight inflation. A well-planned garden (30×50 feet), under optimum conditions, can be expected to yield up to $500 in produce (with no taxes to be paid). In addition, gardening is an inexpensive recreational activity that can be shared by the entire family. Landscaping can add 10-15 percent to the value of your property, and it is an investment that keeps growing.

2. Improve your family’s nutrition. The garden is not only an inflation fighter, it is a source of highly nutritional foods that tastes fresher and better when you grow them yourself.

3. Conserve energy. By properly landscaping, you can reduce your air conditioning bill in the summer and heating bill in the winter. Learn about the use of trees and shrubs to modify your environment.

4. Reduce pollution. Your landscape can be useful in reducing air and water pollution. Be careful that in caring for your plants, you do not become a chemical polluter. Many homeowners use more chemicals per square foot than farmers. Look for alternatives.

5. Protect the environment. Plan your landscape with food and shelter for wildlife, or incorporate wild flowers around your home. You will be richly rewarded. Do not take more from the environment than you return to it. Plant flowers for our pollinators.

6. Conserve water. Clear, pure water is a product of a complex system and should not be wasted. Never simply run cold water down the drain while waiting for it to turn hot. Save it for your houseplants or humidifier. Investigate the use of trickle or drip irrigation for your garden.

7.Improve our educational system. Kids learn from more sources than just their teachers. Give a child a plant, and teach him or her how to care for it.

8. Improve your community. Make your neighborhood more attractive by working with others. Start with an attractive, well kept landscape. If you have no space, plant a geranium or zinnia in a window box.

9. Improve your health. Gardening is great preventative medicine. Not only does it provide physical activity, it also relieves many of the stresses and tensions of modern life.

10. Show you care. Share your horticulture skills and products with a friend. Then, for a greater challenge, share them with a stranger—someone in a nursing home, in a half-way home, in the local hospital, or a disadvantaged neighbor.

If you are needing help in your landscape to have a more efficient yard, call the Bladen County Cooperative Extension 910-862-4591 or come by the office, 450 Smith Circle Drive in Elizabethtown.

Nancy Olsen is a horticulture agent with the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office.

Nancy Olsen

Bladen County Cooperative Extention

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Tourism sector’s impact expanding

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Albuquerque residents looking to go to one of the world’s best travel destinations this year only have to step out their front doors.

That’s the word from Travel + Leisure magazine, which recently released a list of places to visit in 2018 after consulting with their travel experts and surveying places at the “forefront of the global conversation.” There was New Mexico’s largest city, named as one of the 50 Best Places to Travel in 2018 – right up there with such places as Buenos, Aires, Argentina, Los Cabos, Mexico and Marrakesh, Morocco.

Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque’s Old Town was designated as one of the nation’s 10 best new hotels in 2017 by USA Today. (Courtesy of Hotel Chaco)

Albuquerque also recently received high-profile nods from Sunset Magazine and USA Today, spotlighting the city’s culture, cuisine, attractions and hotels.

The upbeat coverage dovetails with initiatives by tourism agencies at the city and state levels to promote travel here.


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“Positive survey results definitely put Albuquerque on the radar of potential travelers,” said Visit Albuquerque CEO and President Tania Armenta at the group’s quarterly meeting, where T + L’s flattering profile of the city was generating buzz among attendees, including the city’s new mayor.

Mayor Tim Keller said the dollar impact of tourism “is absolutely critical” to the well-being of Albuquerque and the rest of the state. The city last year attracted 6.2 million visitors, and tourism is a $2 billion industry in Albuquerque, according to Visit Albuquerque. The sector employs more than 40,000 people in Bernalillo County and generates about $69 million in tax revenue.

“Tourism is one of our most effective economic development strategies. In no way is this lost on me,” said Keller.

This display at the Albuquerque International Sunport touts New Mexico-made products. (Courtesy of New Mexico Tourism Department)

The new is reflective of the refreshed Visit Albuquerque brand. The site redesign had a price tag of $80,000, and is responsive across desktop, tablet and mobile platforms. It also features a user-friendly setup, where visitors can easily find things to do, such as shopping, eating, checking out the microbreweries and taking in major attractions. The site also offers advertising opportunities for local businesses and a comprehensive events calendar.

Big business

The hospitality industry is big business statewide, and, based on the past few years, Rebecca Latham, cabinet secretary for tourim, expects travelers to open their wallets a little wider in 2018.

Gov. Susana Martinez and Rebecca Latham detailed the impact of tourism on the state’s economy at a recent event. (Steve Sinovic/Albuquerque Journal)

Direct visitor spending in New Mexico hit $6.4 billion statewide in 2016, a 2.1 percent increase over the previous year, according to the state Department of Tourism, which calculates that 92,000 jobs, or one in 12 statewide, is sustained by visitor spending, and tourism generated $642 million in state and local taxes in 2016. There is “every reason to believe New Mexico will continue to see improvements” once the 2017 data is crunched, Latham predicted.

The department is hoping to boost state tourism spending by $3.5 million in the coming fiscal year, from $12.6 million to $16.1 million, with the bulk of that money going to a tourism marketing initiative in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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“San Francisco has a strong presence of our target group, ‘Venturesome Travelers,’ who are interested in what New Mexico has to offer, as well as the increased number of direct flights and competitive media costs,” said Latham.

The number of non-stop flights each day to Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Roswell from San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose now numbers six, up from two in 2012.

In a recent address to the Greater Albuquerque Innkeepers Association, Latham said the department’s ever-growing New Mexico True advertising campaign will highlight “the summer of the Mother Road,” focusing on attractions, lodgings and points of interest along Route 66, especially targeting international tourists eager to drive the highway.


A visitor heads out to find his rental car at the Sunport Car Rental Center. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

Conventions are a strong priority for Visit Albuquerque, said Armenta, and the addition of more direct flights to Albuquerque should help. “It’s fantastic to see Alaska Airlines’ emergence in this market,” said Armenta, referring to added non-stop flights to Orange County, Portland and Seattle.

For 2018, Visit Albuquerque said citywide conventions and high-profile bookings so far “have an estimated spend of $80 million,” said Armenta. “And that’s just what we’ve lined up,” she said, adding that individual hotels and other tourism promoters also bring groups to the city and state.

One particularly high-profile event, the summer meeting of the National Governors Association, is expected to bring an estimated 1,300 attendees to Santa Fe July 18-22. The economic impact of the event could range from $3 million to $4 million, said Latham. While only 32 governors will be in attendance, the visitor roster includes spouses, staff members, security details and lobbyists, said Latham.

With an estimated 500 hotel rooms needed to accommodate attendees at a peak time for visitation, Latham is expecting some Albuquerque hotels will also benefit.

Indian country

The Santa Ana Pueblo’s new hotel will be close to the casino. (Courtesy of Santa Ana Pueblo)

The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, which is based in Albuquerque, is seeing the demand for Indian Country tourism grow. Overseas visitation increased from a low point of 693,000 when the organization started its international outreach in 2007 to 1.9 million in 2016.

“We hosted a Native-focused media FAM (familiarization) tour in New Mexico and Arizona last year with Italian travel media, and many of the pueblos participated including Acoma, Taos, Pojoaque and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center,” said Rachel Cromer Howard, a spokeswoman for AIANTA. “This category of also visitor stays longer and spends more,” said Howard, citing U.S. Department of Commerce data.

Tourism is clearly important to the bottom lines of New Mexico’s tribes and pueblos, which draw visitors to tribal attractions, casinos, resorts, museums and cultural events. Several are investing heavily.

Santa Ana Pueblo is spending $50 million to build a seven-story hotel adjacent to the Santa Ana Star Casino, and it recently spent $5 million on renovations to guest rooms at its Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort Spa.

An artist’s rendering of the casino the pueblo plans to build next to the Santa Fe Opera. A hotel and restaurants are also planned. (Courtesy of Tesuque Pueblo)

Meanwhile, Tesuque Pueblo plans to replace its existing casino near the Camel Rock, breaking ground last weekon a new one next door to the Santa Fe Opera. Construction is scheduled for completion by late 2018. Plans call for a new hotel at the site in a later phase.

Hotel investments

Albuquerque hoteliers also are investing, and notably in high-end properties that have been attracting positive media coverage.

Los Poblanos Historic Inn Organic Farm has recently expanded its hotel operations to serve more guests. This is some of the new style of lodging. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

Los Poblanos Historic Inn Organic Farm has a new look, thanks to a $10 million renovation in 2017 that resulted in two new buildings that added 28 guest rooms to the existing 22. The project also includes a renovated bar and restaurant with a state-of-the-art kitchen, a refurbished retail shop and a new reception area. New gardens and landscaping were also part of the upgrade.

Hotel Chaco has been open for only six months in Albuquerque’s Old Town and was recently designated as one of the nation’s 10 best new hotels in 2017 by USA Today.

The reception area at Hotel Chaco emphasizes New Mexico’s pueblo art and cultural symbols. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Heritage Hotels Resorts, CEO Jim Long said his nine-property company has built a name for itself by acquiring hotels and renovating them to provide a uniquely New Mexican experience.With Hotel Chaco, the company was able design a unique property from the ground up, one inspired by ancient pueblo culture but designed with modern amenities.

The hotel was built at a cost of $40 million and employs 140 people.

Long said the company is aiming for five-star status for Hotel Chaco, targeting a luxury guest demographic for its 118 rooms. “It’s a traveler looking for a unique experience,” whether it’s art, culture, outdoor excursions or culinary offerings, said Long.

But the business hasn’t forgotten about the locals.

“It’s amazing how much people have enjoyed Level 5,” he said of the rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains, Downtown skyline and historic Old Town.

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Garden Guys Landscaping focus on water-wise plants

Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Garden Guys Landscaping, a recently established independent business operating in and around Windhoek, has taken cognisance of the prevailing drought and have thus decided to predominantly focused on water-wise gardening.
According to owner Alan de Bever, numerous clients have been successfully assisted with installations and plant choices, to make their gardens a remarkable aspect of their homes while efficiently using water. 

De Bever, a Namibian, is academically trained as a horticulturalist and has a number of years of experience in the horticulture and landscaping sector. He notes that the business transforms gardens into ‘water-wise’ gardens that thrive in Namibia and specifically Windhoek’s arid climate without using a lot of water or just maintaining existing gardens.

“With water being a scarce commodity in Namibia, efficient and effective irrigation systems do not just make economic sense, they are essential. The expertise acquired by Garden Guys Landscaping over the years, having worked on big and small projects, means that the irrigation systems are of the highest standard and fully automated if desired. There is always an eco-friendly way to maintain a residential or commercial property when it comes to the garden,” De Bever explained.

In the newly established company, local Namibians are employed and trained. De Bever noted that it is essential for Garden Guys Landscaping to develop and train its employees who are associated with the business, so that they and the business can improve, diversify their skill-set and grow.

Garden Guys Landscaping encompasses activities and aspects regarding landscaping as well as on-going gardening services, working on both residential as well as commercial properties and projects. 
The business has started supplying and installing green houses for food and ornamental plant production best suited for the local climate.

De Bever added that future undertakings will include focusing on organic gardening, supplying heirloom vegetable seeds and establishing an urban vegetable farming sector using modern farming techniques that are more efficient and productive. This he, says, will provide people the tools and the knowledge to start vegetable gardens and become healthier by having access to organic home-grown vegetable, fruit and herbs.

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Garden Calendar – Bryan


Meeting of the AM Garden Club, 9:30 a.m. College Station Waste Water Treatment Plant, 2200 N. Forest Parkway. AMGC member Heather White will offer a presentation on “Growing Fresh Air: How Plants Remove Toxins and Treat Sick Building Syndrome.” Business meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. and the presentation at 10:30 a.m. Visitors welcome. 


Brazos Valley Farmers’ Market, 8 a.m. to noon. Downtown Bryan at Main and 22nd Streets. Enjoy the food truck, shop for seasonal veggies, homemade baked goods and much more., or 229-5503. 

Brenham Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon. 307 S. Park St., Brenham.

Martha’s Bloomers, 11 a.m. 8101 Texas 6, Navasota. Program: “Spring Garden Tips,” presented by Elmer Kreibel, Brazos County Master Gardener and Eagle garden columnist. Learn gardening tricks and tips to get your garden ready for spring.


TAMU Women’s Club Garden Interest Group, 9:30 a.m. Education Classroom, George Bush Presidential Museum, 1000 George Bush Drive. Program: “How to Integrate Edibles into Your Landscape,” presented by Jeremy Merrill, Landscape Architect. Learn how to incorporate vegetables and herbs in your landscape. Free. Visitors welcome.

The Local at Lake Walk – a neighborhood artisan market, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 4100 Lake Atlas Drive, Bryan. Enjoy food trucks, music, handmade products and fresh produce.


Garden Success radio show with Skip Richter, County Extension Agent- Horticulture, Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service, noon to 1 p.m. Listen to Richter’s advice on gardening in the Brazos Valley on KAMU-FM 90.9. Call in garden questions at (979) 845-568.

The Garden Calendar is a public service provided by The Eagle and The Brazos County Master Gardeners Association. To have your gardening event listed in The Eagle, contact Ginny Smith at or 846-0997. The deadline for submitting is the Friday one week before publication.

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This week’s gardening tips: plant foxgloves, delphinium and hollyhock

The blooms will return: Cool-season bedding plants may bloom less during the midwinter period (especially if the weather is cold), but should pick-up again in the late winter and early spring. Don’t forget to keep the old, spent flowers picked off to encourage continued blooming. If the foliage color is a good deep green, and the plants seem to be growing well, you shouldn’t need to fertilize now. Pansies are, however, heavy feeders. If the foliage is even slightly pale, and if the growth seems slow, fertilize regularly with a soluble fertilizer according to label directions.

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