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Archives for January 17, 2018

Learn ‘the law’ of flower show exhibits

The Port St. Joe Garden Club held its January meeting on Thursday, Jan. 11. Following a luncheon the speaker, Ms. Jane Brewer, gave a presentation on designing exhibits for entry into a National Garden Club Flower Show. Design styles may be either traditional or creative, and the flower show schedule provides the guidelines for the exhibitors, judges and the viewing public and is the “law” of the flower show.

Ms. Brewer brought with her three designs for teaching several principles of design. Balance, proportion, dominance and scale are all important principles of design, and proper execution of these and other principles is needed to have a well executed design. Ms. Brewer provided visual examples of well executed and poorly executed design principles.

For instance, a common mistake is failing to use the space provided by the schedule for the exhibit and having the design too small for the space, a failure of properly executing the design principle of proportion. The presentation was informative, fun and enlightening and raised excitement for the upcoming PSJGC National Garden Club Flower Show on June 9, theme of which will be “By the Sea..By the Sea.”

Ms. Brewer is past president of the Gulf Beach Garden Club in Panama City Beach as well as past president of District II of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. Next month, Feb. 8, at noon, the PSJGC will be hosting a presentation on everything you wanted to know about composting, learn how to start and maintain a compost pile. The presenter will be Ray Bodrey, a club member, and the Gulf County Extension Service director.

The public is invited to attend the presentation at 216 Eighth Ave. in Port St. Joe.

If you recently moved here or are on an extended visit and are wondering what to plant in your yard or garden that will flourish in our beach environment, please come join us, learn about composting and get your gardening questions answered.

Please check out our Port St. Joe Garden Club Facebook page for additional information on this or future presentations or email to RSVP or request further inquiry. The Port St. Joe Garden Club is a national and historical site and is available for rental.

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Longwood Gardens Appoints New Director of Outdoor Landscapes …

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa., Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Longwood Gardens today announced the appointment of Andrea Brunsendorf as Director of Outdoor Landscapes. The appointment is effective March 5, 2018.

Brunsendorf comes to Longwood from The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in London, where she served as Head Gardener of the Inner Temple Garden since 2007. While there, she led and implemented a strategic planning process to revitalize the infrastructure and horticultural features of the garden, developed a tree management plan, instituted apprenticeship and volunteer programs, and managed the horticulture staff and budget. Brunsendorf also served as a gardener at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London, where she maintained plant collections across the gardens and nurseries, including the displays in the tropical and temperate glasshouses. Brunsendorf has studied and trained at gardens around the globe, including in South Africa, Germany, France, Botswana, Jerusalem, and the United States, including a stint as an International Ornamental Horticultural Trainee at Longwood Gardens. She holds degrees in Ornamental Horticulture from Thuringian State Ministry in Germany; a Kew Diploma from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and a Master’s in Conservation from the University College in London.

As Director of Outdoor Landscapes, Brunsendorf will ensure that Longwood’s outdoor display gardens continue to meet extraordinary horticultural design and display standards of excellence, while driving innovative thinking and implementation across the outdoor gardens.

“Our global search for a Director of Outdoor Landscapes attracted many talented candidates from both near and far,” said Longwood Gardens’ Vice President of Horticulture Sharon Loving. “Andrea’s horticultural expertise, her international experience and perspective, and her proven record of implementing imaginative garden design made her the perfect candidate for this position. We are excited to have Andrea continue to grow and advance our reputation as one of the great gardens of the world,” Loving said.

“I am honored to be chosen to lead the Outdoor Landscape division at Longwood Gardens,” said Brunsendorf. “It is an exciting opportunity to return to the Garden that made such a lasting impression on my creativity and professional growth. Longwood is renowned for its horticultural expertise and excellent standards,” Brunsendorf said. “Having been part of so many international training programs, it was my time at Longwood particularly that inspired me, acted as a kind of measure of best practice, and benchmark of what is possible when you commit time and effort to a garden. I look forward to not only continuing, but elevating the horticulture displays that Longwood is known for around the world.”

About Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens is one of the great gardens of the world, encompassing 1,083 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ, and a 4-acre grand Conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by founder Pierre S. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the arts. For more information, visit                

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Get Growing: Winter is a good time to check the condition of your tools

Special to the Reading Eagle: Gloria Day | Leather rose gloves and quality pruners make a good pairing for garden work.

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Wrong place or wrong idea?

∫ A Northern Arizona University study recommends minimum 125 RV spaces for economic break-even when building an RV Park. Hutsman, Cordell, Hutlstman recommend 200 spaces, no less than 125 to break even. Recommended number of RV parking spaces that fit per acre is 10-12. Larger rig, pull-through sites are preferred, limiting number of sites per acre. Breathing room and landscaping in between spaces is ideal. Average cost to build an RV park is $20,000 per parking space (amenities depending).

∫ I’ve been told there are 5 acres at Mich-e-ke-wis. Five buildable acres could potentially fit 50 RV spaces with pump station, maintenance building, etc. (Any more would make it a parking lot), according to professional recommendations; this would result in an estimated $1 million investment to build an RV park at Mich-e-ke-wis.

∫ The average nightly within-region rental fee is $32/space. Most locations are open from Memorial Day – October 1 (125 days/year). Local options don’t operate at full capacity. Assuming seasonal occupancy follows the state average of around 75%, this means potential gross revenue from Mich-e-ke-wis of about $150,000. If the off-season is let for storage at 100% occupancy with average rates: 240 days open for storage at $2/day/space = $24,000. This brings the annual gross revenue potential from seasonal rentals and storage to $174,000. But that’s gross.

∫ After expenses including advertising, accounting/legal, insurance, repairs/maintenance, utilities: the general rule of thumb is to assume 20-30% profit net. This would leave a net profit between $34,800 – $52,200. This number also depends on the cost of paying someone to manage the park. Successful RV parks have on-site management who are there to interact with guests and address needs 24/7.

∫ Assuming that net profit is put toward the cost of building the park, this results in a 19 -28 year ROI. Payback is dependent on the park hitting 75% occupancy. Between years 10 15 the park infrastructure will need updating. Around the time the park is paid for, money will need to be put back into the infrastructure. If the reason for doing this is profit, at which point would the park make a profit? And where would profits go? Could $1 million be better used to leverage more profitable ideas?

∫ As for tourist audiences it is not one vs. the other, they are all just different. The national average spend in the community for a visitor staying in a hotel is between $120 – $170/day. The average spend for an RV tourist is between $25-$45/day; they like to stay put and bring their “home” (most of the things they need) with them so an argument that this would bring incredible spending into the community lacks support.

The professional conclusion provided was that regardless of where this proposed RV park is located, an RV park with less than 125 spaces is not a feasible idea. So the answer to Question #1 is, no. Also important to the discussion is the fact that other local RV parks campgrounds are not at capacity and a new campground RV park is also proposed for Rockport.

All tourism sectors are important and the Convention Visitors Bureau works to attract all sectors. We get them to Alpena, where they stay and what they do is up to them. The identity that makes Alpena an ideal place to live and a destination is built around the abundance of natural resource vistas and recreational activities available in public parks, trails, and waterways. Closing public access to land such as beaches, green space, and forest trails decreases the portfolio of natural resource assets being used to leverage promotional opportunities to attract tourists, new business, and future residents.

The public is being encouraged to attend a proposed RV Park informational session, hosted by Alpena City Council, on Thursday, January 25, at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.) at the APlex.

Mary Beth Stutzman’s Inspiring A-Town runs bi-weekly on Tuesdays. Follow Mary Beth on Twitter @mbstutz.

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Livingston Residents Share Ideas and Concerns at Riker Hill Art …

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston and Essex County officials were enthusiastic about the outcome of a productive public forum held on Thursday at Livingston Town Hall to gather residents’ input regarding the revitalization of Riker Hill Art Park (RHAP).

As mayor in 2016, current deputy mayor Al Anthony worked to receive a commitment from Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo to improve this 42-acre site, which is currently the highest point in Essex County and served as a U.S. Army Nike Missile Base until the county purchased it in 1974 and converted the buildings into studio space for 38 artists. Thursday was the start of what the Livingston council hopes will be a great working relationship with the county on this project.

The overall consensus in the room was that RHAP is unique to any other park in not only the county, but in New Jersey as well. The popular opinion among residents was to enhance the park while maintaining the natural and cultural elements of it—focusing on the arts, the walking paths and the views.

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“In the last 15 years that I’ve served as county executive, one of my initiatives was improving our parks—we have the first county park system in the country, but prior to me being in office, they were totally neglected,” said DiVincenzo. “We had 17 parks when we started. Now we have 23 parks and that’s something we’re all very proud of. To me, when you improve a park, it’s about a quality of life, it’s about economic development and it’s about improving property values.”

The county executive had a negative experience when holding a similar meeting nearly ten years ago, where many Livingston residents expressed concern about noise, drainage, traffic and losing the uniqueness of the park. Although some of these continue to be concerns, DiVincenzo assured residents that restaurants, housing and athletic facilities were not being considered in this project, and asked only they keep an open mind.

Local artist, Arts Council of Livingston member and 25-year Livingston resident Hugh Mahon said there are “so many things that come together at RHAP” and that this project is an “incredible opportunity.” Although he agreed that the park needs landscaping and the buildings need to be addressed, he asked that the county not change too much.

“That park, at this point, is unique,” he said. “It’s unique because of the art that’s created there, it’s unique because of its historical value, it’s a unique place for people to walk their dogs, and in order to enhance its uniqueness…they don’t need to be changed. You can put up cherry trees, you can make ponds, you can do all kinds of things, but this park is unique and the artists who work there bring uniqueness to Essex County. This has an incredible amount of opportunity for people to recreate, for artists to flourish [and] to bring business to a town like Livingston. We need to make this work, [but] don’t mess with its uniqueness.”

Other residents and artists said they were enthusiastic about having a place like this as a focal point in the area and were thrilled to see how many people came out on Thursday to express their interest in the project.

Throughout the forum, common suggestions included expanding the sculpture park; reopening the fossil trail that was once utilized by school children; sprucing up the exterior of the existing buildings; installing low-level lighting, infrastructure and signage throughout the park; enhancing the landscaping; adding picnic tables; and creating a more specific lookout point.

Among the popular suggestions was adding informational signage, such as an astrology map, an educational tool along the dinosaur trail explaining the types of fossils that used to be found there, a plaque with the history behind the Nike missile base and more. Other suggestions included bringing in performing arts or offering movie nights by re-building the outdoor amphitheater and inviting food trucks rather than opening a restaurant.

Major concerns that were taken into account included traffic, excessive lighting and noise, drainage and evening entertainment. In addition to keeping the cultural aspects of the existing facility in mind, many also asked the county to consider the many animals that currently take up residence at RAHP.

The biggest concern among residents was that the small road that currently leads from a residential area up to the park cannot handle commercial traffic. Many called it a “ramp” or “path” rather than a road, and said that if there were to be any consideration for a high-density facility, this would be a major issue.

In addition to residents who live nearby RHAP and the artists in residence at it, other local dignitaries who spoke included the president of the Riker Hill Art Park Association, an art critic from The Star Ledger, members of the Livingston Environmental Commission, Livingston Open Space Committee and other local organizations and county freeholders.

Many expressed that DiVincenzo has proven himself during his years as county executive and said they were confident that he would take the residents’ concerns and ideas into account.

“When I go through RHAP, it’s probably one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset here, it’s the highest point in Essex County and it’s a large parcel of land that can use a facelift,” said Essex County Freeholder Len Luciano, a Livingston native and resident of West Caldwell. “Joe D. doesn’t stop when he invests money into something […] and I think that’s the same thing here with Riker Hill. I think we need to start with some of the bare basics: make it safer, work on drainage and engineering, make it ADA compliant, maybe even have some low-level lighting…you just have to have some trust in your government officials.”

Luciano acknowledged the current Livingston council members for having the courage to put together a resolution with the county to consider a facelift to this hidden gem within the community. He also said he was “proud of all of the folks that had the courage to tell us what they’d like to see.”

“The one thing I can say that we’re not going to do is that we’re not going to waste the opportunity to spend money in Livingston,” he said. “The county exec has promised that he has allotted money for 2018 to do something up there, so we’re all going to put our heads together and make sure that it’s something that everyone in the community is going to look forward to enjoying, their children can enjoy, and it’s going to increase your property value.”

Essex County Freeholder and longtime Livingston resident Pat Sebold, who not only lives near the park but also serves on the Open Space Trust Fund advisory board, said she has been bothering DiVincenzo about enhancing RHAP for many years and looks forward to the day he presents a real plan to the advisory board to make it a desirable place in Essex County.

Livingston native Jill Denker noted that DiVincenzo, Sebold and other county officials saved the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo and expressed her confidence that the RHAP project would be no different. She was confident that the county would maintain an open line of communication with the residents to ensure that the current feel of RHAP is not lost in the process of making the park a destination for all to enjoy.

Joseph Perello of Suburban Consulting Engineers reiterated that there is currently nothing designed and that the county is still in the process of gathering input from residents. He and three of his teammates took diligent notes during the meeting and said that they would determine the priorities and begin the next stages of planning. 

Mayor Ed Meinhardt thanked the county for not only supporting this project, but for agreeing to conduct this preliminary meeting with Livingston residents as well. He also thanked the many people who attended for having an open mind, sharing their thoughts and respecting the process.

Livingston Township Council members agreed that the revitalization of RHAP is going to be a special project and one that will be a huge asset to the township and the county.

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Volunteers band together to plant garden at Michelle Obama Library on MLK Day

To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, volunteers spread out across Long Beach to participate in a number of community projects in honor of the MLK National Day of Service.

Leadership Long Beach, the Port of Long Beach, the Office of Mayor Robert Garcia, the Office of Vice Mayor Rex Richardson and several other community and city organizations organized the “Day On, not a Day Off” event.

Some of the projects for the volunteers included planting trees and gardens, landscaping in Houghton Park and cleaning alleys in North Long Beach.


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Deadline nears for palm society auctions, dinner tickets – Hawaii Tribune

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SC man killed in condo fire was quiet, devoted to his wife and God, neighbors say

Neighbors of the 70-year-old South Carolina man who died after running into a burning condo to get his wife out say he was a quiet soul and devout Christian who rarely, if ever, was seen without his wife.

Harold Morse had made it out of the burning condo at Point Arcadia off Decker Boulevard early Jan. 6, officials said. But he went back into the fiery building and woke his sleeping wife to get her out. Sophie Morse made it out of the home, but her husband died of smoke inhalation.

“They’d been together for so long, I would have been surprised if he hadn’t gone back in to get her,” said Allen Tinsley, 69, who lives in the complex and has known Harold and Sophie Morse for more than 20 years.

Tinsley described Morse as quiet but deeply rooted in his Christian faith.

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“If you wanted to talk Scripture, boy, he was the one to go to,” Tinsley said. “We have a lot of elderly people here who pass away from time to time. Sophie and Harry always go to their funerals.”

Sophie Morse is known in the complex for her love of gardening and landscaping. She and Harold would regularly tend to residents’ gardens or sweep their porches.

“They’ve made this neighborhood look so much more beautiful,” said Joan Meeting, 58, who has known the couple for more than 15 years. “They’ve come over and refurbished my garden at least twice. They took two or three hours to make it look beautiful.”

Nicole Lamparello, 27, had recently moved into Point Arcadia, and said Harold Morse came up and welcomed her to the neighborhood while they were out walking their dogs.

“He always had his dog with him,” she said. “Unless he was in the car, he was always walking around with the dog.”

Harold and Sophie Morse had a dog and a cat, and a neighbor’s surveillance camera captured their early-morning routine, according to Dot Brown, property manager at Point Arcadia.

“Every morning, between 3 and 3:15, he took the dog out and the cat followed him,” she said chuckling. “It was hilarious.”

Investigators on Tuesday ruled the fire an accident, although they are still trying to determine the exact cause.

Last week, as investigators sifted through the rubble of the burned out building, Brown pointed to the well-kept garden and plants in front that were sprinkled with ash and burnt debris.

“They pretty much kept to themselves unless you walked by and they happened to talk to you,” she said of the couple. “They were always here together and just did their thing, and they were happy doing that.”

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Gardening for your Health event coming to BRF

Melinda Myers, gardening expert, author and TV/radio host, is coming to Black River Falls.

Through a partnership with the Karner Blue Garden Club and Black River Memorial Hospital, Myers will present two sessions Thursday, March 8, at Black River Falls Middle School on topics Vegetable Gardening Success and Simple Landscape Makeovers.

Events will start with a book signing at 5 p.m., followed by the first presentation at 6 p.m.

Myers is a down-to-earth presenter. Attendees will leave with more confidence in their gardening abilities and tips for healthy gardening.

Dr. Carol Martin, BRMH emergency department physician and Garden Club president said, “This event is for the first-time gardener and the experienced gardener. Gardening not only allows people to grow their own healthy produce to feed their families, it also feeds the soul.”

There will also be booths on gardening and health-related topics. This event is free and there will be door prizes and light refreshments. Register at or call 715-284-3629.

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Gardening: Take care of poinsettias and they’ll dazzle you next year





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