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Archives for January 30, 2018

Look inside this dreamy New Orleans-style Naples home


The Aqualane Shores home was built 18 years ago to recreate the original owner’s childhood home in New Orleans, Louisiana. A new owner has made some changes, but kept the same Parisian charm.
Shelby Reynolds/Naples Daily News

Step into 1920s-era New Orleans, in an Aqualane Shores home with dreamy, wine-colored bougainvillea dripping from the wrought-iron balconies.

It will be one of four properties featured Feb. 3 on the 2018 House and Garden Tour, so we got an early sneak peak. The tour will take about 1,000 participants to four Naples waterfront homes to the see the latest trends in decor, architecture and garden design. It’s presented each year by the Naples Garden Club, an organization of garden enthusiasts that aim to foster community-wide interest in floral design, horticulture and environment.

Tickets to the tour are such a hot commodity that they sell out within hours of becoming available each year. To be added to a wait list for this year’s tour, email

Participants will meet Feb. 3 at the Naples Botanical Garden and take air-conditioned coach buses, departing at different times throughout the day, to each of the four houses; the home owners and exact locations remain anonymous.

One stop will take tour-goers to a lush Port Royal property that looks like it’s straight out of Architectural Digest, and another will go to an Aqualane Shores home that blends the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.

“My goal … this year was to showcase four very different homes, and I believe we succeeded in doing that,” Ann Howat, chairwoman for this year’s annual event, said in an emailed statement.

At the New Orleans-inspired property in Aqualane Shores, the devil’s in the details.

A previous home owner built the house 18 years ago to replicate her two-story childhood home in New Orleans. It was renovated 10 years later to enlarge the kitchen, transform an upstairs laundry room into a third bedroom and a few other changes.

The lush and layered courtyard feels like it’s from another century. Even the driveway makes a grand first impression, with its second floor balconies and light blue shutters. In the courtyard, there are oversized lanterns, inviting outdoor seating and an in-ground pool fed by two lion head water fountains.

An antique military cot from the Civil War has been mounted on one exterior wall for a unique display of orchids and succulents.

Inside the extravagant great room, 13-foot-tall ceilings and decadent crystal chandeliers draw the eye up. The ceilings were originally painted all white, but a new owner painted them turquoise blue and added faux ornate moldings and medallions to reflect the historic Parisian style and add a cozy warmth to the room.

The home is scattered with antiques, each one with its own unique story of how it got there, like the chess set with antique salt and pepper shakers as chess pieces.

The dining room table is from a South American monastery; a large, patinated drum from Australia now holds moss and plants; and baskets that farmers used to fill with grapes from the French countryside is now displayed in the great room.

The galley kitchen has been elongated to add more counterspace and a breakfast nook with a perfect view of Crayton Cove. The crowning jewel, though, is the downstairs bathroom, with a tiny, chinoiserie blue and white sink and accompanying sconces. 

The upstairs bedrooms will be blocked off from the House and Garden Tour, but it’s worth noting the princess-inspired bedroom, which was once a laundry room, and the master bedroom’s Old World Italian influences.

A crowd favorite of the tour each year are the flower arrangements created by garden club members to reflect the home’s style. It takes 200 volunteers to put together the event, which this year celebrates its 64th anniversary. The annual tour is the Naples Garden Club’s largest fundraiser, collecting so far more than $1 million for scholarships, grants and internships that support the group’s mission.

Those who couldn’t get tickets to the tour can still participate in the raffle, which is now available online. Prizes include a $1,500 dream garden; a jewelry-making party for 10; a flower arranging party for eight; and dinners at upscale Naples restaurants. Tickets are $2 each and are available at until Feb. 1, or at the tour on Feb. 3.

Want to get on next year’s tour list? Email to be notified when tickets are available for the 2019 Home and Garden Tour.

How to get on next year’s tour list

Email to be notified when tickets are available for the 2019 Home and Garden Tour


Garvan Woodland Gardens Prepares for Spring with Workshops and Art Exhibit

Garvan Woodland Gardens

A cherry tree blooms on the banks of the koi pond at Garvan Woodland Gardens last winter. Each year, it’s always the first to bloom in the garden.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Garvan Woodland Gardens prepares for spring this month with workshops on grafting Japanese maples, growing bonsai trees and creating mosaic birdhouses as art. An exhibit featuring the work of two artists — one an oil and acrylic painter, the other a fiber artist — continues.

The “Bonsai for Beginners” workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 22 in the Magnolia Room. Bryan Carlan, Garvan horticulturist, will discuss plant selection, container and materials sources and techniques for producing a healthy bonsai specimen. Participants will leave with a potted bonsai-style tree.

The workshop on “Japanese Maple Grafting” will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 24 in the Magnolia Room. Larry Morphew, an Arkansas native, will explain the motive and methods for grafting Japanese maples and assist participants in producing their own grafted specimens. Rootstock, scion and grafting tools will be provided.

A two-day “Mosaic-Making Workshop” will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 27-28 in the Magnolia Room. Suzie Burch, a local artist and Garvan staff member, will lead participants in designing and creating a multi-dimensional mosaic birdhouse art piece. All materials will be provided, but students are encouraged to bring old trinkets, stones and other small pieces to include in their finished work.

The art exhibit, “Two Artists — Two Mediums,” will continue to be on display through February in the Magnolia Room. Brenda Bennett is an award-winning oil and acrylic painter, whose canvases depict a variety of subjects, including landscapes and wildlife. Darlene Garstecki is an award-winning contemporary fiber art designer from Hot Springs Village, whose passion for nature, travel and photography inspires her artwork.

Garvan Woodland Gardens is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas and part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. The garden is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 4-12 and free for children ages 3 and younger. Some events and activities are free. Some require a fee, advanced registration or prepayment.

For more information about these events or to check on upcoming events, call 501-262-9300 or 800-366-4664.


Bettina M. Lehovec, communications writer

Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design


Michelle Parks, director of communications

Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design


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Lambertville Goes Wild presenting ‘Learn to Landscape: Dream, Design, and Detail’

Lambertville Goes Wild (LGW) will sponsor a three-part learning series “Learn to Landscape: Dream, Design, and Detail” at the Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lily Street, Lambertville, New Jersey. Lauren Kovacs, LLA, a landscape architect with over ten years of experience in sustainable landscape design, will guide participants through their design practice: from dreaming up a garden style, through designing useful spaces, to understanding installation details. Please register in advance at to save your place; space is limited to 20 participants per session. Attendance at all 3 sessions is preferred but not required. Please indicate which sessions you will attend in your email.

Session 1 – DREAM – Saturday, February 24, from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Learn basic garden styles and how to build your design palette. Not “a creative type”? No problem! Participants will learn where to look for and how to catalog project styles and elements. This session will also provide detailed instructions on how to create a base map of your property for use in the following Design session.

Session 2 – DESIGN – Saturday, March 24, from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Learn how to create a functional home landscape. In this session, participants will learn how to prioritize and plan project spaces and elements. From hardscape and garden beds to arbors and umbrellas, learn to visualize your garden in three dimensions to create your own sense of place.

Session 3 – DETAIL – Saturday, April 28, from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. In this hands-on workshop, get help combining your style(s), favorite elements, and desired spaces into a harmonious composition. Bring your images, sketches, and questions to Lauren and her team for personalized advice. From detailing and installing a patio to choosing the right plants for your garden, our team can get you on the path to a final garden design and realistic implementation plan.

Lambertville Goes Wild is a volunteer group working to promote wider use of native plants as a key part of its aim to certify Lambertville as a Community Wildlife Habitat recognized by the National Wildlife Federation. To reach our goal, several public spaces, such as parks and schools, and about 100 private properties need to support native species such as butterflies, birds, and bees by providing food, water, cover, and places to raise young.

Lambertville Goes Wild is reaching out to the residents of Lambertville to encourage and assist them in certifying their properties. More information is available at and on the Lambertville Goes Wild Facebook page

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Discuss Gardening For Good

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Ferree Provides Garden Tip Videos

Last year I started producing short videos on various gardening topics. They are a lot of fun to make. Currently, I have 31 videos available, covering indoor and outdoor horticultural topics.

In my first educational video “Planting Fall Mums,” I demonstrate from my home garden how to plant fall mums. This two-minute video has 213 views – the most views of all my YouTube videos.

To date, the first eleven videos received 393 views, with ”2017 Horticulture Program Outlook” and “Planting Fall Mum” receiving the most views. According to YouTube analytical data, these videos reach a majority of male viewers, which contrasts her other social media sites.

I have several videos that cover simple tips on houseplant care. After watching these short videos, even those with “brown garden thumbs” will know how to have healthy houseplants throughout their home.

Over watering house plants is very common. Watering Houseplants teaches you how to know when to water and how much to water your houseplants.

Selecting the correct pot and correctly handling the plant and roots are critical aspects of repotting houseplants. I demonstrate Repotting Houseplants from my home gardening work center.

Moving Houseplants Indoors shows how to clean and groom houseplants.

One of my most recent video spotlights African Violets. I provide tips to keep them flowering and looking their best.

For the most part, I use my backyard to film clips used in the videos. I consider my backyard a horticultural laboratory where I can do what I teach and teach what I do. My videos provide quick summaries of a particular topic and what the home gardener can do.

Each video begins and ends with guitar music I’m playing. The end of each video provides a University of Illinois Extension website link to more information, as well as links to my  ILRiverHort social media sites.

Extension has a reputation for providing the most current information in ways that reach people where they are. Videos offer daily gardening tips and ideas to help people grow their own food and enhance their landscapes. These videos provide trusted information in a complicated world of garden videos, websites, magazines, and television shows.

View these videos at You’ll also find current garden news on Rhonda’s ILRiverHort Facebook and Twitter pages.


Rhonda Ferree

Author: Rhonda Ferree

Rhonda Ferree is Extension Educator in Horticulture for the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Extension Unit. She has been with University of Illinois Extension for over 20 years where she has held several positions and received many awards. Ferree has a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from the University of Illinois.

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Green Sanctuary group gives tips on gardening | News, Sports, Jobs …

The Green Sanctuary Program at Marietta’s First Unitarian Universalist Society held its second session out of seven Sunday in their Fellowship Hall. The theme this year for their Winter Gardening Series is ‘Gardening for a Healthy Planet.’ The free gardening classes are presented by area gardening experts and gardeners with years of experience.

“We had to earn our Unitarian national certification to be a Green Sanctuary,” said Dawn Hewitt, chair of the Green Sanctuary Committee at FUUSM. “This is for the community. We had these classes for many years, but skipped last year and we started them up again this year.”

“Gardening for a Healthy Planet is a theme we can put into practice to some degree no matter how you garden, whether you hang out a basket of flowers, have a vegetable garden or have a pollinator strip to bring in pollinators,” explained Andrew Clovis of the Green Sanctuary and is also a Master Naturalist and Master Gardener.

Cindy Brown, president of the Mid-Ohio Valley Master Gardeners said she loves the Green Sanctuary Gardening Series. She was part of a panel presenting about seed saving and sowing on Sunday.

“I’ve learned a lot and got a lot of inspiration from going to these,” explained Brown. “Because this is typically done by people who have gardening experience and many people in the audience are experienced as well. It makes for a fabulous interactive experience.”

Green Sanctuary member George Banziger did a presentation entitled, “Eat It! Growing Nutritious Veggies” and informed the audience about composting, worms and growing nutritious vegetables.

He’s been doing this for seven years. Since he retired, he has extra time and said that gardening fits his values. He encourages others to get started.

“You don’t have to start gardening any sophisticated way. You can start with a small garden plot and put in some tomatoes and lettuce and go from there,” assured Banziger. “You not only get benefits from your produce, but also from being outside and getting fresh air and exercise.”

“This gardening series has been very popular for many years,” said Banziger. “You can see by the attendance that there’s a lot of interest.”

“I think this Winter Gardening Series is great. I plan to come to all of them,” said Emily Grafton, coordinator of the Mid-Ohio Valley Master Naturalist Program. “I will actually be teaching a session on invasive species.”

The naturalist program’s goal is to provide an opportunity for people to get back to natural history and learn about birding, mammals, ecology and become knowledgeable about all the different components of nature.

“This Green Sanctuary Series is great. There has been a wonderful turnout and people are excited and planning for gardening season,” said newly graduated Master Gardener volunteer Leslie Pittenger. “It’s just fun to be around other people who have the same interests.”

The Master Gardener program is part of the Ohio State University Washington County Extension Office.

“This is very informational for us. We have an 8,000-square-foot garden. We’re always looking for more information,” shared Mike Gohl, of Reno. “It’s something that my wife Patty and I do together. We started gardening in earnest five years ago”

“We do this together. It’s fun. We can vegetables and have quite a pantry,” said Patty. “It’s really nice in the winter when you pull something off the shelf. We like these classes, we’re still in the learning process and it’s good to meet people that think the same way.”

Cindy Taylor of Parkersburg said that she was really interested in hearing Banziger’s presentation and hearing about his gardening techniques.

“I liked how he not only addressed people who are (already) gardeners but also others, (to help them) know what type of vegetables are nutritious,” said Taylor. “It helps people know what to plant or buy at the store.”

The gardening classes are free and they will have two classes each session covering many gardening topics, including Urban Forestry, Wild Seed Collection, Insects Garden Ecology, Pollinator Habitats, A Sunflower Primer, Cut Flowers for the Home, Integrated Pest Management, Dr. Bonnie’s Favorite Herbs: Uses and Growing Tips, Biodiversity and Sustainability, Invasive Species: Problems, Controls and Alternatives and Gardening for Wildlife.

More information

-Upcoming classes will be Feb. 18 25 and March 11, 18 25.

-For more Green Sanctuary Garden Class information, visit

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Author Meryl Gordon will attend Albemarle Garden Club’s Design Forum 2018

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Annual Porter County gardening show offers tips for spring

Penny Stroup and her friend Mayrea Reusser are longtime fans of the annual gardening show, put on by the Porter County Master Gardeners Association.

“I’ve missed two,” Stroup, of Bristol, Ind. She said she missed the first one and last year’s event because of a broken hand.

During the 15th annual show Saturday at the Porter County Expo Center, she got a quick lesson in floral arranging in a new feature of the show, which she’s drawn to for an assortment of reasons.

“It’s seeing flowers in bloom, the color, the people,” she said.

Tips to get your winter garden ready for spring

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) – There are still a few months left in winter.
And expert gardeners say now is the time to make sure your garden is prepared for when spring rolls around.

Phil Shealy has some of the prettiest camellias you’ll see in Dothan.
Shealy says:
“My dad loved gardening and so I got all of my interest from my dad and my mother too for that matter.”
He planted his camellias and azaleas more than 60 years ago.
“But just having that crave and love for gardening is what I’ve always had.”
Shealy is one gardener that has had a bountiful harvest with proper care over the years.

He along with other gardeners say, pruning is key.
Lucy Edwards, Regional Extension Agent in HomeGrounds says:
“This time of year, getting into February…February 14, Valentine’s Day is known as the pruning day– so you’ll begin to prune your roses, boxwoods, your hedges, um just some minimal tree pruning is good to be done in February.”
But she has warning….
“Highly recommend you wait to prune your azaleas after they flower.”

Some other advice, go ahead and plant trees and shrubs.
“The ideal times are going to be in the fall and late winter/early spring, that’s because we typically have a little more rainfall during that time and it’s not as hot so our plants can focus on establishing roots before having to worry about that summer heat.”

Edwards says don’t forget about your lawn.
“Lawns they can be sprayed with what they call a pre-emergent herbicide so that’s one you’re going to put out in February and it’s going to kill those young, tender weeds right as they germinate.”
“Fertilizing our grass and even landscape plants… I try to get homeowners to wait until everything is actively growing and green.”
That’s so they get the maximum amount of nutrients from the fertilizer

And last but not least…
“Think about you know your irrigation…we’ve been having some cold days so you might want to go ahead and start checking your irrigation lines, making sure things are functioning properly so come spring you’re ready and those little to-do chores are done.”
And if you’re like Shealy, what some think of as chores becomes a hobby.
“And it’s just like gardening, you’re just real pleased with what you do.”

For other winter gardening tips, visit our website:

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