Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for January 21, 2018

Young gardeners of the year competition launched ahead of Ascot Spring Garden Show

Young gardeners of the year competition launched

Article source:

‘Private Gardens of the Bay Area’: A rare peek into private enclaves …

Authors Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner explain what the garden owner wanted to achieve, such as a home for a collection of plants (palms, salvias, native plants); a landscape impervious to drought; bringing interest and usefulness to a tiny space; or a way to honor the architecture and garden design of an inherited site. Professional garden designers and/or landscape architects, some historic, many active now, are always given credit. Not all garden owners are named, although many are. For example, gardens include those of Betsy Clebsch in La Honda (a salvia expert); Marcia Donahue in Berkeley (creator of garden art); and Flora Grubb (of San Francisco nursery Flora Grubb Gardens). Grubb, who lives in Berkeley, fills her garden with a selection of the bold, unusual, mostly drought-tolerant plants featured in her nursery, often trying new plants at home before selling them at her nursery.

More Gardening

This is not a trend-chasing book, although a number of the gardens are new and exhibit up-to-the-minute ideas. Succulents, natives and other low-water plants are often featured, as are porous hardscape surfaces to trap whatever rainfall comes our way. One eye-popping, water-saving design is the Nash Garden in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood. This spectacular planted driveway was a collaboration between designer Dan Carlson of Wigglestem Gardens and client Madeleine Nash.

The garden of Richard and Tatwina Lee in Calistoga depends heavily on native plants, including a ceanothus variety that spread into the garden from adjacent wildlands and thrived where numerous carefully chosen ceanothus varieties had died. This garden, designed by landscape architects Eric and Silvina Blasen, includes concrete walls to frame views while providing much-needed wind protection. It, like a number of other gardens in the book, includes an orchard and a kitchen garden.

A mix of salvias hold a hillside at the Calistoga home and garden of Richard and Tatwina Lee, where walls are used to both focus the view and provide wind protection. Photo: Marion Brenner, Marion Brenner / The Monacelli Press

The book features gardens in various Bay Area microclimates. Some designs solve site problems, such as steep hillsides or strong winds. Some gardens are larger than most urban residents will have. However, the design choices, and especially the photos that show smaller details of the gardens, will be useful to every Bay Area gardener.

An introductory essay on the history of gardens in our region includes a photo gallery of representative public and private gardens. There are shout-outs to influential local garden creators of the past, such as Thomas Church and John McLaren, as well as to the Hortisexuals (an informal group of East Bay plant aficionados) and to the Ruth Bancroft Garden, a landmark dry garden in Walnut Creek featured in the 2017 book “The Bold Dry Garden.” (Bancroft died Nov. 26, 2017, at the age of 109; more on this in my February column.)

Berner is a book editor and editorial consultant; Lowry was a television journalist who had earned a degree in landscape architecture. They met years ago as volunteers at New York’s Conservatory Garden in Central Park. One day they decided to visit another Manhattan public garden, the Heather Garden at Fort Tryon Park. This became the first of their excursions to public gardens, which led to their 2002 book “Garden Guide: New York City.” This is their fourth collaboration, and their first on the West Coast.

“Private Gardens of the Bay Area,” by Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner, with photographs by Marion Brenner. Photo: Courtesy The Monacelli Press, Marion Brenner, Photographer

For this project, Berner and Lowry were looking for gardens that expressed a passion for gardening, and that represented “a particular alchemy between a good story and evocative photographs,” they said in a joint email. They had long admired the work of East Bay photographer Marion Brenner and wanted to work with her. Brenner, for her part, wanted to work with them and was familiar with the Bay Area. She had steadily been shooting gardens since the early 1990s either on assignment or “for the pure love of a garden,” she said, also by email. (However, most of the gardens in the book she shot for the first time for the book.)

A collaboration was born, and during 2015 and 2016, the three considered more than 100 gardens. It turned out that the hardest part of the project was winnowing the selection down to the 39 featured. Once the selection was made, Brenner toured the gardens and photographed them with the authors and the gardens’ designers. However, Brenner is frequently a solitary wanderer, working quickly with her camera and tripod to catch the best light, often early or late in the day.

I asked Lowry and Berner about their working relationship, and they said that in the past one would write a draft and they would pass it back and forth, drawing on their individual strengths, until they were both satisfied. Now, although they still send drafts back and forth, they say their skills have become more interchangeable and their expertise “very much shared.”

Flowing Acacia ‘Cousin Itt’ lines a walkway in Flora Grubb’s Berkeley home. Grubb owns Flora Grubb Gardens in S.F. Photo: Marion Brenner / The Monacelli Press

The two recalled one long day in Napa Valley to visit Molly Chappellet’s vineyard garden: “We were drooping when we started the ascent to meet her at the foot of the long climb up through the vineyard to her garden,” the authors emailed. “She is an artist, brilliant garden maker and legendary hostess, and each of those qualities was on full display during what turned out to be a magical visit. It stretched out to twice as long as we had budgeted and culminated with a glass of Chappellet wine in her dining room overlooking her garden, the vineyard and valley beyond.

“A giant oak was outlined against the setting sun. We all feel lucky to have shared that moment — later that year a winter storm felled the oak. When Marion (Brenner) returned to photograph, the limbs of the oak were laid out as sculpture and were the focal point of one of the most beautiful images in the book.”

Pam Peirce is the author of “Golden Gate Gardening.” Visit her website, Email:

In Molly Chappellet’s vineyard garden in St. Helena, the limbs of a fallen black oak are arranged as sculpture in a garden that embraces both natural and edited elements. Photo: Marion Brenner, Marion Brenner / The Monacelli Press

Can I see the gardens?

Note that the gardens in the book are private, not public. But some are open to the public on Open Garden Days, which are tours of private gardens sponsored by the nonprofit Garden Conservancy ( or other nonprofit groups.

“Private Gardens of the Bay Area,” by Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner, with photographs by Marion Brenner. The Monacelli Press, 256 pages, $60.

Article source:

London College Of Garden Design launches 10th anniversary celebrations

Having trouble signing in?

Contact Customer Support at
or call 020 8267 8121, or refer to our answers to frequently asked questions.

Article source:

North Olmsted seeks community input with Gateways Plan meeting …

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio – A key part of North Olmsted’s 2015 master plan was to enhance the community’s aesthetics through signage, landscaping, lighting and public art.

Now city officials are moving forward with what’s called the Gateways Plan, which will be discussed in detail at a public meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at North Olmsted City Hall.

“The vision of our master plan was the North Olmsted community aspires to be a more attractive place to visit,” North Olmsted Director of Planning and Development Kimberly Lieber said. “So we looked at the word attractive from the standpoint of the physical realm, housing stock, infrastructure and economic climate.

“This plan is really trying to address that physical realm: What the community looks like and the amenities that we offer. We’ve been meeting as a staff committee for a couple of months, but this is the first public meeting that we’ll be presenting our draft ideas and getting back feedback from our community.”

Those draft ideas run the gamut across the city regarding gateway signage, landscape enhancements and sound-wall enhancements. The list includes entrance ways at I-480 and Great Northern Boulevard, Clague Road and Stearns Road.

Also being discussed are Brookpark Road corridor improvements, pedestrian overpasses and the bike path along I-480 between Great Northern Boulevard and Stearns Road.

“We also have pump stations and other city facilities that are really infrastructure sites throughout the city,” Lieber said. “What kind of landscaping treatments could we consider to soften the appearance of those and make them just more friendly to fit into the neighborhoods?”

Already Lieber said city officials have bounced a few preliminary ideas and concepts off ODOT, which was supportive. Just as a master plan is ostensibly a wish list, the same goes for the city’s current efforts. Finances will dictate which parts of the Gateways Plan are implemented.

“Phasing is certainly the way we’d go,” Lieber said. “We know we can’t tackle every single project at the same time. The scale of projects range widely from small improvements to fairly major undertakings. So part of the process will be to prioritize the projects.

“There’s also a potential for grant opportunities. We’re looking at all of these enhancements with potential future funding either through Cuyahoga County, community development dollars or supplemental grant dollars.”

After the upcoming meeting, Lieber said the public can comment further on individual projects as they come before the North Olmsted Planning Commission and ultimately City Council. She expects elements of the Gateway Plans to enter into the design phase later this year.

“This is a concept plan, not a document,” Lieber said. “We’ll need to do more investigation of every location, the specific utilities in that area, the access to electricity if required or soil samples.

“But we won’t get that to level until the overall concept plan is approved by the community and Council thinks we’re headed in the right direction.” 

Article source:

Your Money: 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.

Consulting and teaching

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.

Manual work

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.

Pet services

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.

Personal training

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.

But entrepreneur beware

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 non-compete 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.

Related links

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, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source:

Putting down roots: New Leaf marks 10 years

Map of 71 beautification projects included in text

The year 2018 is big for several groups and organizations throughout Alamance County, and New Leaf Society is no exception. Marking their 10-year anniversary, 2018 is an opportunity for New Leaf to continue their relationships with donors as well as see changes in landscaping requirements.

New Leaf has spent the last 10 years planting trees, shrubs and flowers throughout Alamance County to enhance the quality of life and economic prosperity. With more than 70 projects either completed or in the process of being completed, New Leaf has invested around $3.5 million in Alamance County with the help of 895 donors by participating in projects located in Burlington, Elon, Gibsonville, Graham, Haw River and Mebane.

“A lot of people think that we are just west Burlington. We are not. We go all the way to Mebane,” said New Leaf president Rett Davis.

Some of New Leaf’s biggest successes include University Drive; Rockwood/O’Neal Drive; the Mebane Street Expansion; North Park; the entrance to Haw River; Red Slide Park; Mebane’s mini park on Fifth Street; and the Splash Park. One of Davis’s favorite projects, though, was the train trestle at Glen Raven.

“That was a public eyesore forever because of graffiti, paint, brush, everything grown up,” Davis said. “The railroad agreed to clean it up for us and repaint it and invested a lot of money. We have relandscaped it and cleaned it up and that in itself is a piece of artwork, I think. I am so proud of North Carolina railroad coming to the table and agreeing to clean that up for the community and they did.”

Another big success for New Leaf was their ability to develop a working relationship with the North Carolina Department of Transportation  on designing exits, something that does not happen very often.

“I have even gone before the North Carolina Department of Transportation board of governors in Raleigh to explain how we work with them because no one else is doing it in the state,” Davis said. “A proud moment is that we have been able to work with NCDOT and they have let us in to help them on their exits. It has been a good relationship.”

Davis takes pride in how New Leaf has helped Alamance County, especially because there is physical evidence of his work.

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

“It is the most exciting thing I have done since retirement that has actually made a difference in the community, a visual and physical difference to the community,” Davis said. “The beauty of working with trees and shrubbery is you get to see the maturation process. You see the results of your effort. We get a lot of positive feedback about all of our efforts and what we have done on the interstates, embellishing the exits here in Burlington and all the way to Mebane and how much we are hopefully making a visual impact in our community. That brings a lot of satisfaction to me to see the results of our work.”


Changes and continuing ideas

For the future, Davis has several ideas on what New Leaf can do to improve moving forward and what they can keep the same.

No matter what, Davis wants to keep the enthusiasm for sustainable landscaping.

“I hope that we can continue with good leadership in the future, that we can identify other community members that are willing to continue New Leaf’s objectives and goals,” Davis said. “You want someone to succeed you with as much passion and as much desire and drive to help these communities and put emphasis on what we believe is important.”

Davis also hopes to continue the relationship he has with the public on finding new projects to work on.

“I have got a good relationship with them about finding areas that need improvement,” he said. “We get public input. We get emails on ‘take a look at this place, take a look at that place.’ I get in my truck and ride around and go look at it. We have developed some really good partnerships. I think the community is now realizing that we are a source of advice and somebody that they can trust and depend upon to make some changes.”

As for change, Davis would like to see several alterations, ranging from building a larger base of donors and contributors to changing landscaping requirements for new construction and putting more emphasis on existing trees and greenspace during developments.

“Let’s look at trees that last longer,” Davis said. “Let’s look at something that makes a difference. Let’s look at high-quality plants that we can use. I would like to see a little more protection of greenspace during development and protection for existing trees that could be saved.”

Another change is an increased social media platform to help communicate with the community and keep them aware of projects. North Star Marketing is helping New Leaf with their Facebook page and website, which will be up and running in a few weeks, Davis said.

“We are looking at how to communicate with the public and potential donors though social media,” Davis said. “We are putting a lot of effort into that form of communication so people can actually keep up with where our projects are, where they are located and follow with photos of our progress. We are excited about that.”



Although there aren’t any concrete plans yet, New Leaf wants to celebrate its 10-year anniversary by highlighting several big projects.

“We want to highlight 10 or maybe more of our projects to bring to the attention of everybody that this was an effort beyond what is normal,” Davis said. “The private sector and private donors stepped up and worked with the community on making a difference. We have found that there are a lot of people that are interested in something they can see every day and it gets prettier every year.”

Davis explained that there will be some type of celebration later in the year, most likely in the fall.

“We have a committee that is going to come up with several ideas, activities, that we will do throughout the year to highlight our projects and our successes,” Davis said. “We will celebrate our successes. “

As if a celebration isn’t enough, New Leaf is still working on several projects for the 2018 year. The projects include Downtown Burlington Planters; the Burlington Arboretum at Willowbrook Park; Phase II of North Park; Phase II of Graham Regional Park; and the ACC exit.


Article source:

Guest-worker crisis worries landscaping industry

  • Landscaping companies nationwide, such as this one in Denver, rely on temporary migrant workers. But after Congress failed to renew a provision of immigration law, the number of H-2B visas was cut significantly, creating a labor shortage in the industry. ( Photo: Nick Cote/For The Washington Post) / The Washington Post



For three days each January, landscapers stroll the aisles of the Baltimore Convention Center, kicking the tires of ride-on mowers, ordering trees for the spring planting season, and generally looking for suppliers who can help them trim costs and increase business in the season ahead.

This year, they were drawn to a new exhibitor at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show. A lawyer named Kara Youngblood spent the hours fielding questions from a raft of green-industry employers grappling with a crisis at least as worrying as the economic downturn a decade ago.

“The landscape companies I have met here are livid,” she said. The object of their anger? Uncle Sam.

In 2016, Congress failed to renew a provision of immigration law. The result was a significant reduction in the number of foreign temporary workers who are granted H-2B visas. Previously, workers who had earlier received a visa, which allows them to work up to 10 months per year in the United States, could return to their employers without coming under the annual limit. Youngblood said the action — or inaction – effectively lowered the number of H-2B workers from about 350,000 to the annual cap of 66,000. It is from this smaller pool that landscapers must compete with all other industry sectors for foreign workers. Half of them are admitted from October to March, further shrinking the availability of workers when landscapers need them.

“What’s happening now, you’re that landscape guy bringing over a foreman for 10 years and you weren’t worried about him getting that visa — now that just didn’t happen,” she said. “It’s a gamble.”

Foreign workers employed by nurseries and production greenhouses are considered agricultural employees and are admitted under the related H-2A visa program. There is no cap on those visas, but nursery growers say labor shortages among landscape contractors will harm growth across the industry.

Under both programs, employers must show they first tried to recruit American workers. The common refrain from the landscape industry is that the demand for labor outstrips the supply — people generally don’t want to work in physically demanding jobs outside in the elements.

“It’s cheaper to hire somebody down the street” than a foreigner, Youngblood said. “If that were an option, they would.” She is based in McMinnville, in central Tennessee, a major region for ornamental-plant production in the United States.

The lower numbers, of course, do not convey the human stories, the bonds between family-owned businesses and their returning workers, most of whom come from Mexico and Central America.

President Donald Trump has made immigrants a target from his populist platform, although Youngblood said the Obama administration “very quietly” waged a concerted campaign of deportation of undocumented immigrants. The current risk of mass deportations of immigrants under temporary protected status and DACA programs is likely to compound the problems facing landscapers, said Youngblood, whose firm has opened an office in a Washington suburb for lobbying purposes.

At the trade show last week, Youngblood’s booth was sandwiched between a woody-plant grower and a manufacturer of plastic seed trays. Surveying the showgoers, she said, “I’m pretty sure most here aren’t going to get [enough] workers and don’t know what they are going to do.”

She may have been speaking of Andreas Grothe, who runs New World Gardens, a small landscape company in Parkton, Maryland, that builds and maintains gardens. He said he paid an agency $9,000 to process three H-2B workers who were supposed to start March 1 but they didn’t get their visas, and he must now pay an additional $1,200 to see whether he can get them for April 1.

“These are people who worked for me in the past,” he said. Due to similar problems last year, his business dropped by a third. “I had to call customers and apologize that I couldn’t do that job anymore because I couldn’t put people on the job.”

The rub is that many landscapers report booming business as the economy has rebounded and their customers are cashing in on gains in the stock market. “I have plenty of jobs and business is wonderful,” Grothe said. “But the reality is that I have right now two employees, and I should have eight.”

Lancaster Farms in Suffolk, Virginia, is a large-scale grower of container-grown trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals at three locations. In peak growing seasons, Art Parkerson employs 120 people, a third of them H-2A workers.

“We can find [American] field workers, but they don’t want to stay field workers,” desiring instead to move into sales or other more comfortable jobs in the company, he said.

About 70 percent of his stock goes to landscape contractors, the rest to independent retailers. “A lot of our customers would grow their business significantly if they had access to labor,” he said.

Directly across the trade-show aisle from Youngblood, Daniel McMahon had every expectation of a banner year. He works for a division of Ball Seed Co. that provides transplanting equipment for greenhouse growers. Standing by an automated soil-potting machine, he removed a half-inch-square plug containing a pansy seedling — one of 400 in the flat — and placed it in a retail-size tray. This single step, in which growers take purchased seedlings to grow on to consumer size, is the most profitable in the nursery trade, he said.

He handed me a couple of brochures for transplanting machines. One is manually operated, costs $5,000, and allows three people to do the work of 15. The second flier was for the TTA PackPlanter, a robotic transplanter that costs $150,000 and does the work of 25 to 30 people, he said. “All the equipment companies are having the best year,” he said.

Gardening tip:

Broadleaf evergreens will benefit from a watering, as weather permits, because of continued dry conditions. A combination of winter winds and dehydration can cause serious leaf damage and dieback on such plants as hollies, camellias, cherry laurels and photinias. If the garden hose is stored for the winter, reach for the watering can.

Article source:

Couples tussle across ‘Native Gardens’ at Florida Studio Theatre – Sarasota Herald

In this play, everyone’s biases and blind spots are exposed.

“Native Gardens” — a comedy about age, race and class, along with ivy and geraniums — should find a ready audience in Sarasota.

Lots of gardeners here live in fear of landscaping police from their homeowners association.

Or they are the landscaping police.

Either way, there’s something to see across the fence that divides the stage at Florida Studio Theatre. Two gardens, two couples, two cultures. Hispanic pride meets WASP prejudice with gardening puns and prickly dialogue about politics, property rights and the American Dream.

“People will be able to see themselves,” says director Kate Alexander. “These characters are very smart. This is not a dumbed-down comedy.”

In the Karen Zacarias play, opening Wednesday at the Florida Studio Theatre, new neighbors tussle over a disputed property line depicted on the set designed by Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay.

On one side are Pablo and Tania Del Valle, played by Alex Teicheira and Alicia Taylor Tomasko. He’s a young lawyer from Chile and she’s a very pregnant doctoral student from New Mexico. They’re planting wildflowers in front of their fixer-upper in the tony Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

On the other side are Frank and Virginia Butley, played by John Thomas Waite and Carolyn Popp. He’s a semi-retired government employee and she’s an engineer near the end of a career with Lockheed Martin. With a decade of work on a flawless formal garden, they hope to win a prize from the Potomac Horticultural Association.

But it turns out that their yard crosses the property line, which moves the plot of this play. Angry words get tossed back and forth. Slapstick springs from the flower beds and boxwood hedges.

Between drags on a cigarette, which she flicks into her neighbors’ yard, Virginia calls her husband to arms with melodramatic flair.

“They will mow us down,” she warns, “for our lawn.”

Audiences ate it up

Zacarias was born in Mexico and studied at Stanford and Boston University. She is the award-winning author of many plays including “Mariela in the Desert” and “Legacy of Light.” She also founded the Young Playwrights’ Theater in Washington, D.C.

Alexander, associate director at large, has been acting and directing at the Florida Studio Theater for more than 37 years. Among her most recent directing assignments are “Heisenberg,” “Clever Little Lies” and “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey.”

After reading a script for “Native Gardens,” Alexander got to see a production of the comedy last year in Washington, D.C.

“It’s such a difference seeing a play live from the printed page,” she says. “I learned how well it worked with audiences. They ate it up.”

Popp and Waite are veteran actors who have worked in New York City, along with regional theaters and national tours. Both have performed in Sarasota, although it was more than 30 years ago.

In 1982, she appeared in “A Christmas Carol” at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. In 1986, he did “Greater Tuna” and “A Life in the Theatere” at the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

“I used to ride my bicycle from the Asolo down to St. Armands Circle and then Longboat Key,” Waite says. “I’d catch the dolphins and porpoises going out in the morning and coming back in the afternoon.”

On stage in “Native Gardens,” he becomes the befuddled husband who is exasperated by his wife’s legal strategies.

“Squatter’s rights!” Frank shouts. “Are you insane?”

As the formidable Virginia, Popp must be severe yet believable.

“I do see her faults, but as an actor I enjoy her intelligence and her love of a fight,” she says. “She does love a fight and she admires people who can fight with her. This is why she has admiration for Tania, because Tania can fight.”

Florida native returns

Tomasko, who plays Tania, is a Florida native who started acting at Martin County High School in Stuart. After seven years in New York, where she performed in “In the Heights” on Broadway and on tour with “If/Then,” she’s planning a move to Los Angeles.

Friends and family from the East Coast of Florida may visit Sarasota to see her waddle across the stage in “Native Gardens.”

Her character is misjudged, initially, but brings some of her own misconceptions to the property line. In this play, everyone’s biases and blind spots are exposed.

“We get to look at it and go, ‘Oh, my god, I do that,’” Tomasko says. “We’re all, for lack of a better term, guilty of every single thing each character does. And then you have to laugh at yourself.”

Teicheira, who is of Portuguese descent, studied drama at Yale and has done regional theater in New England. In New York, he’s done plays while working at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue.

For “Native Gardens,” his character struggles to remain professional with something of a manic personality. There are wins and losses. Highs and lows.

“The parallel construction of this play is great,” Teicheira says. “There’s a scene where Pablo says, ‘God, I love the law,’ because something is his and they can’t take it away from him. And then, just when this bites him on the butt, he has a line where he exclaims, ‘God, I hate the law.’”

In Sarasota, where landscaping has been known to become a legal issue, gardeners just might share Pablo’s joys and frustrations. Or they may side with Frank Butley, who thinks his neighbor’s wildflowers look like weeds.

It doesn’t matter.

“Native Gardens” doesn’t ask fans to play favorites, but it does ask them to think about what people want on the other side of the fence.

Article source:

Landscape & Garden Fair Seeks Nature-Themed Vendors

Master Gardener, Carol Morris, prepares the hydroponic systems for the Landscape Garden Fair

Lake County’s 7th Annual Landscape Garden Fair, a free botanical-themed festival, is seeking nature-oriented vendors.
Interested participants specializing in landscaping, gardening, irrigation, horticulture, fertilizer and more are invited to sign up for the two-day event, to be held Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 at the Lake County Extension Center’s Discovery Gardens, located at 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares.
Sponsored by Lake County, The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension in Lake County and the Lake County Master Gardeners, the festival will provide visitors an opportunity to browse and purchase goods from vendors selling landscaping materials, ornamental plants, orchids, fruit trees and more.
To reserve space at the fair, rental fees must be received no later than Friday, Feb. 16. Available space ranges in price from $75 – $150 depending on size, and $25 for non-profit agencies. To secure a space, vendors may register online at or make a check payable to “University of Florida” and either hand deliver or mail it to: Lake County Extension, Attn: Juwanda Rowell – Landscape Garden Fair, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares, FL 32778.
The annual Landscape Garden Fair attracts thousands of guests to hear expert speakers present on a variety of topics, including butterfly gardening, unusual edibles, shade gardening and hydroponics. Additional family-friendly activities include the Children’s Passport, with stops at multiple gardens, the Maze Scavenger Hunt and special butterfly release.
For more information about the 7th Annual Landscape Garden Fair, call 352-343-4101 ext. 2.

Olympics Latest News

Article source: