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Archives for February 7, 2018

City to again offer rain barrels, training programs

After receiving positive feedback from last year’s program, the city of Hendersonville will again offer rain barrels to residents.

In 2017, the first year for the program, 300 barrels were sold and around 150 people participated, according to Mike Huffman, stormwater quality specialist with the city.

“I have had nothing but positive feedback from last year’s participants,” Huffman said. “Everyone seems to love their rain barrels.”

Several people who didn’t pre-order a barrel wanted to buy one the day of pickup last year. Huffman and his team are trying to make it clear it is best to order barrels online beforehand. Only a limited number of extra barrels are sent with the pre-ordered shipment.

This year’s barrel pickup will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 26 and 27, the same weekend as Garden Jubilee. The pick-up location is different this year, and will be at the City Operations Center, 305 Williams St. in Hendersonville. Barrels cannot be picked up before the event.

Common uses for the rainwater include watering gardens and washing cars and pets.

“Even if you aren’t using the water, letting it drain slowly from the barrel over your yard is a great way to help manage stormwater at home,” Huffman explained.

The city of Hendersonville encourages the public to take part in the rain barrel program for a number of reasons.

First, the barrels help reduce stormwater runoff and associated downstream flooding/erosion/pollution, Huffman said. The barrels also help conserve water, save money and educate the public about stormwater and the city’s stormwater program.

New this year, two workshops on rain water will be offered to the public. The Residential Rain Garden Design Certification Workshop is March 10, and will focus on learning about the process of planting, designing and constructing a rain garden. The event is $25 to attend or $100 for the certification. The course is aimed at landscape professionals, contractors, homeowners and stormwater professionals.

A free community workshop on the homeowner’s guide to stormwater will be held April 21. Huffman will teach the workshop, which focuses on educating homeowners on how they can better manage stormwater runoff on their properties through the implementation of various techniques aimed at reducing runoff from residential properties.

Barrels are $68, and normally retail at $129.

To order a rain barrel, go to More information and an installation video are also available at the website.

Ivy rain barrel features:

•50-gallon capacity.

•Child-proof locking lid.

•Made in North Carolina.

•Gravity fed. No pump required.

•Made of 100 percent recycled plastic.

•Bug-proof screen keeps out mosquitoes and pests.

•3/4 inch ball valve, which easily connects to garden hose.

•Two built in overflow parts.

•Barrels nest inside one another for easy storage and transport.

Reach Rebecca Walter at

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Gardens come to life at Lifestyle Garden Design Show

The annual Lifestyle Garden Design Show is back from the 10 February.

Be prepared for a journey through a horticultural cosmos of networked paths that is fully assimilated, yet changes seamlessly from one garden to another as distinctive garden spaces and spaces within spaces, fuse together in perfect harmony.

Curated for visitors by Lifestyle College and Lifestyle Home Garden, this year’s show once again shifts up a gear, and the stage is set for a show that is innovative, fresh and brimming with creative gardening and design ideas to suit a wide range of tastes and preferences.

Stretching the collective creative imagination to see gardens as three-dimensional entities that surround us from the bottom, top and sides, mean that we have created a spirit of embrace and comfortable enclosure in a spatial kaleidoscope of patterns, levels, colours and textures.

This event has become a much-awaited affair on the gardening calendar for the past 21 years.

This year boasts a new layout that allows for more public interaction and choice of a journey – a main path through the show space is connected on both ends by hubs or nodes that both incorporate central features.

Secondary paths that branch off from the main walkway are treated as ‘designer’ strips that relate to the garden spaces through which they pass – these are also fully accessible to public pedestrian flow.

The Garden Guide will showcase designer gardens, as well as gardening tips, product information and valuable items will be on sale in-store in support of JAM South Africa.

Additionally, talks and pre-booked guided tours accompany the show.

Be inspired by the nine fully integrated gardens that not only take visitors on a gardening journey but also showcase pertinent and innovative garden designs which can easily be replicated in your home and garden.

Entry to the show is free.

ALSO READ: Bring your garden to life

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Sometimes a garden’s color scheme is best left to the plants

The most eye-catching part of a garden plant is its flower, and the most captivating element of a bloom is its color. You might think then that designing a garden should be an exercise in painting with flowers. This idea once held a lot of sway, but color-driven garden design is, by and large, a dead duck.

Gardeners today are more relaxed about their plantings and are driven less by color schemes than the desire for naturalistic effects. We are still drawn to flowers and have our own color preferences, but the need for elaborate, color-coded borders has generally vanished.

There are ways to pinpoint plant color — the most famous is the Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart, essentially paint charts with holes in them for matching chips directly with a flower — but I have never seen a gardener here use one.

This retreat from overt color design doesn’t mean that we should abandon our interest in color theory. Every gardener needs to know how color works.

To that end, we mark this week the Smithsonian’s publication of “Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours,” a reproduction or facsimile of an 1821 manual that is slender physically but a giant in its significance. It was devised by a Scottish art teacher named Patrick Syme and based on a system of color classification by a German mineralogist, Abraham Werner. The book standardized the color descriptions of scientific specimens in a pivotal era of discovery. One of its users was Charles Darwin.

One unplanned white renegade. (Adrian Higgins/The Washington Post)

But color systems are needed by artists as well, and by the end of the 19th century, color science had made the leap from botany to horticulture, most famously with the work of the Arts and Crafts garden writer and designer Gertrude Jekyll. She started out as a painter but turned to gardening after her eyesight deteriorated.

While Claude Monet was capturing his garden on canvas, Jekyll was turning her unrealized paintings into gardens.

She put together planting plans for borders of hot colors and cool colors. Her favored approach was to compose a plant border that started with cool colors, moved to hot ones and then receded to the cooler ones.

This coherent artistry had great appeal and was adopted on both sides of the Atlantic. One of Jekyll’s admirers was Vita Sackville-West, whose renowned garden at Sissinghurst Castle, south of London, includes a white garden aped in private gardens around the world. I prefer Sissinghurst’s Purple Border, which, as I recall, is a medley of reds, pinks and blues as well as purple, all set against a high brick wall.

The desire to group plants by color is thrilling when done well, but it leads you into a maze — you must master color theory before moving on to high-level gardening.

First, the theory. If you’ve taken an art class, you know that the appearance of a color is controlled by three components: hue, brightness (or value) and saturation.

A pastel color — seen in a pink Oriental poppy, perhaps — has high value and high saturation, making it light and bright. The pale color of a blushed peony has high value but low saturation. The rich color of a crimson gallica rose has low value and high saturation. This is explained in a book by the late Sandra Austin, who was an instructor of landscape design at George Washington University. “Color in Garden Design” was published in 1998 but still can be found online.

Austin hoped that if gardeners understood the technical attributes of color, they could use it more effectively in the landscape.

But mastering color theory is one thing; having the proficiency to create a season-long color-coordinated garden is something else.

Even if you include foliage as part of the color plan, as Austin suggests, you’d still need an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and how they grow in your garden. Sorry, but you can’t Google that; such knowledge takes years to accumulate through trial and error.

Another factor working against color gardens is our Mid-Atlantic climate, which is colder in winter than England and certainly a lot hotter in summer. This alters the plant repertoire. You can’t just crib a planting scheme from an English book.

I can think of a few instances where color-driven gardening still commends itself. The first is in garden areas of light shade, where you could put together plants in considered shades of green and white with a little blue thrown in. Foliage color would be a major element. I might suggest various hostas and ferns, grasses and sedges, Satsuki azaleas, smooth hydrangeas, fothergillas, sasanqua camellias, the native fringe tree, foamflowers, wood asters, foxgloves, Japanese anemones, rue anemones, white varieties of wood anemone and Grecian windflowers, and lots of little white daffodils followed by Virginia bluebells.

The easiest, cheapest color playground is the container, where you can pick long-flowering annuals and tropicals that conform to a given three-or-four-color scheme (or a single color).

Another simple way to play with colors is to mass-plant three or four tulip varieties in a considered color scheme. The show lasts for only a couple of weeks, but it’s a delightfully luxurious way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

How should you piece together a planting plan? It is far more satisfying to compose gardens in terms of textures, forms, heights and blocks of plants rather than color. Such compositions still pack a flower punch, but they aren’t reliant on a constant floral parade for effect. Besides, there are times when the color wheel and rules about complementary and harmonious hues seem irrelevant. Color combinations often take care of themselves, and there will be happy accidents. I am thinking of a tulip named Dordogne, which by rights should be a gaudy disaster, marrying a peachy orange ground with a flame of bubble-gum pink. It looks fabulous.

@adrian_higgins on Twitter

The best tool for cutting back ornamental grasses is a pair of sharp hedging shears. Cut the grasses two to four inches above ground level. Tall grasses such as miscanthus or panicum can be tied before cutting for ease of disposal.

— Adrian Higgins

More from Lifestyle:

Shifting toward a greater understanding of bugs

A cornucopia of heritage varieties awaits the home gardener

Considering trimming or getting rid of an old tree? Not so fast.

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Business briefs — Feb. 7, 2018

Blue Mountain Yoga hosts free classes in February

Starting in February, Kevin Pedrey — former owner of Sequim Gym — offers two classes at Blue Mountain Yoga in Carlsborg. The first, Tai Chi Chuan, started Feb. 6 and is held Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. The other, Exploration and Assessment of Movement, starts Feb. 8 and runs Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. During February only, classes will be taught at no charge.

For more information about these or other classes, visit or contact Pedrey at 360-477-8553.

Ross to boost BG Club

Ross Stores, Inc. announced this week that the national company is partnering with Boys ; Girls Clubs of America with a three-week program called “Help Local Kids Learn.”

Beginning Feb. 3, Ross Dress for Less customers in Sequim (1055W. Washington St.) can make a monetary contribution at checkout to be donated to Boys Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula.

“Because of the commitment by Ross to our clubs, we are able to deliver quality programming and mentoring support to the children in our community over 300 days a year,” Mary Budke, Executive Director of the Boys Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, said.

New Dungeness Nursery sets landscaping classes

A free landscaping class for beginners and people new to the area starts Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the Sequim Prairie Garden’s clubhouse at Pioneer Memorial park, 387 E. Washington St., between noon-4 p.m.

This four-day class will be held on four succeeding Wednesdays.

The class also includes a personal free home visit to the participants’ home. The class covers the basics of gardening and planting in Washington state, low maintenance gardening and is based in the “Northwest Style” of landscaping — less formal than traditional landscaping and using plants available in our mild climate.

Doug Cockburn, president of class sponsor New Dungeness Nursery, is the presenter. Cockburn has been landscaping in the area for more than 45 years. The nursery hosts similar classes each winter.

For more about the class or about New Dungeness Nursery, call 360-681-0132.

Moser joins staff at Over the Fence

Laurie Moser has joined the team at Over the Fence (112 E. Washington St., Sequim) as full-time store manager.

Moser, who officially took the position Feb. 3, comes to the downtown Sequim business with “extensive retail management experience, new energy, fresh ideas and a heart for our community,” Over the Fence staff said.

Jeri Sanford will continue as store buyer and enjoy her new semi-retirement, the staff said.

For more information, call Over the Fence at 360-681-6851 or email to

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Baltimore Landscaping Company Launches Website – Press …

GLYNDON, MD, February 06, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — The weather might be cold, but it’s the perfect time to think about spring gardening plans and landscaping ideas. Urban Gardens Inc., a Baltimore landscape designer and outdoor-living specialist offers residential and landscape maintenance and design/installation services. Their brand-new website is chock-full of design inspiration for your landscape.

The new site was built in partnership with the website design specialists at CourseVector. Like many businesses, the Baltimore landscaping company had an outdated website that did not adequately showcase their landscape designs. They needed a fresh look that reflected the precision with which they design for their clients. It also needed to be responsive for use on mobile devices.

“WordPress was the perfect choice for the website,” states Jennifer Mariani, operations manager of CourseVector. “The client is able to quickly and easily update content and images. The website is always new and fresh – perfect for finding landscaping ideas.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the design. It highlights our work now, which was our primary concern for the new site,” said Dean Smouse of Urban Gardens Inc. “We’re excited that the site is live before the busy spring landscaping season. Customers should really begin thinking about their landscape and outdoor remodeling plans now so they can get started as soon as the weather is a little bit warmer.”

Their Baltimore nursery is home to a production farm for specimen trees and shrubs used in the landscapes they install. They are locally owned and operated, located on Butler Road in Glyndon, Maryland. Because Baltimore is their home, they know the plants that are perfect for this climate, when to plant them, and where to plant them. Their full-service landscape services are second-to-none in the Baltimore area. Many of their landscape designs are displayed on their website for even more inspiration. Whether you are looking for landscaping, hardscaping, or maintenance, Urban Gardens Inc. does it all.

About CourseVector: In business since 1989, CourseVector is based in Harrisburg, PA. This full-service web development company specializes in hosting, web design, and SEO. Their team is committed to providing high-quality technical services at all budgets.

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Tazscapes Inc. – The Premiere Calgary … – Digital Journal

CALGARY, AB, CANADA – February 6th, 2018 – Not many Calgary landscapers have the privilege of having several hundreds of clients within the span of three years since their business’ inception. Tazscapes Inc.  stands out from its competition for its stellar project track record, excellent client feedback, and the continuous trust placed in its services from clients hailing from all areas of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The company’s  superior workmanship is evident in the final result of each landscaping project they undertake.

The company, which is due to celebrate its three-years-in-business milestone in just a few months, employs a detailed process, which allows it to take care of each project’s finest details, starting from landscape design, and all the way through landscape construction.

“Tazscapes Inc. is a local Calgary full service landscape design and construction company that thrives to provide quality landscaping by qualified professionals. Custom, innovative and creative design concepts lie at the core of our company values and we continuously push limits as professional landscapers in Calgary to bring something unique to each of our client’s yard, thus allowing them to carve their own yard into the already beautiful Calgary landscape,” said Mr. Mumtaz (Taz) Mirza, Owner of Tazscapes Inc.

Speaking of her experience with Tazscapes Inc., Ms. Jennifer Sade, from NW Calgary, said ”We had searched for over a year to find someone to help us create a garden in our small backyard. Tazscapes were the first ones to get what we wanted right off the bat and were ready to start work quickly. The design of the garden was inspired and fit the space perfectly. The quality of the work was very impressive. (…) Tazscapes were able to design and execute within our budget and above our expectation.”

In launching their new website, they have done a fabulous job of showcasing their work and providing not only calgarians, but people across the world with creative landscaping ideas!  The company’s landscaping portfolio can be viewed here. Those interested in booking a consultation with Taz, can do so by calling +1(587) 578-0747 during business hours, or by filling in the appropriate contact form on the company’s website.

To learn more about Tazscapes Inc., please visit:

Media Contact
Company Name: Tazscapes Inc.
Contact Person: Mumtaz (Aka. Taz) Mirza
Phone: (587)578-0747
Address:61 Nolanhurst Cres NW
City: Calgary
State: AB, T3R 0Z3
Country: Canada

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Carson to discuss bird plantings at Audubon meeting

Pay no attention to the low temperatures and cold winds –  this happens to be the perfect weather to plan your spring planting. And Janet Carson is here to help.
Hot Springs Village Audubon will host Carson presenting “Planting/Gardening for Birds,” with specific plants and gardening/landscaping tips, at 10 a.m. Friday in the Coronado Community Center auditorium.
Carson has been the Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist and statewide Master Gardener coordinator with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service since 1992. She travels all 75 counties doing horticulture programming. She is well known throughout Arkansas as a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and for her gardening expertise.
In addition to her popular gardening column in the Democrat-Gazette each week, Janet does monthly feature stories in the Arkansas Living Magazine and Arkansas Gardener Magazine, and her weekly television spots are taped at Garvan Woodland Gardens.
She is the 2017 Extension Employee of the Year and has won numerous awards over the years. She has two books, “In the Garden” and “Field to Feast.”
Carson has a bachelor degree in urban horticulture and landscape design, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 1980, and a master’s in general agriculture with a minor in horticulture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 1992. Carson is married with two grown children and three dogs.
HSV Audubon welcomes visitors to the monthly programs. There is no charge. For more information visit or call Karen Geiger, 922-0645.

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Senator: Core right to home-grown vegetables lives in Senate bill 1776

The Florida Senate Community Affairs committee on Tuesday gave a green thumbs up to a bill that prohibits cities and counties from regulating where residents could grow vegetable gardens.

The bill is inspired by a battle between the Village of Miami Shores and village residents Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll.

» RELATED: The latest in Florida political news

Five years ago, the village council ordered the couple to uproot a 17-year-old vegetable garden they lovingly grew in the front yard or face a daily $50 fine.

They took the village to court with the help of Injustice Institute, a national nonprofit that seeks to limit government size and power. But in November, the Florida 3rd Court of Appeal backed the village’s decision, saying it has the right to regulate landscaping and design in residential neighborhoods.

Unsatisfied, Ricketts and her husband have taken their case to the state Supreme Court, where the case is still pending. But fearing they could not pay what might have been a hefty fine while they appealed the local law, Ricketts and Carroll have uprooted their garden.

According to the bill, counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions would be prohibited from regulating “vegetable gardens on residential properties” and any regulation imposing restrictions on vegetable gardens would be “void and unenforceable.” The proposal includes exceptions for regulations related to water use during drought conditions, fertilizer use or control of invasive species.

In the committee meeting, Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, made an enthusiastic case for the bill (SB 1776), which he co-sponsored with Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park.

“That’s what we’ve come to – home-grown gardens are outlawed,” Bean said.

Local governments should not be able to restrict the rights of residents to grow their own food, he continued.

Americans growing their own food is as American as apple pie, he said, but “ironically, apple pie would be illegal if it’s from a tree in a garden in your front yard.

Also ironic? The number of the bill, he said.

“1776 – it’s America,” he said. “Let’s join together and say we are preserving our county’s core values and that is the right to grow our own food.”

Bean’s plea elicited laughter from the audience, but also some scrutiny from fellow committee member Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami.

“Having said all that, this still is a preemption bill, correct?” he asked, referring to the flood of bills moving through both the House and the Senate this session that attempt to strip local governments of their powers.

“Correct,” Bean responded.

Sen. David Simmons, R-Longwood, suggested changing the bill’s “strong language” so that local governments could have the flexibility to “reasonably regulate but not prohibit” the location of vegetable gardens.

“I doubt that any one of us in our neighborhood would want to have an entire front yard, for example, done as a garden that’s got corn that’s 10 feet high or eight feet high,” Simmons said.

The bill also was met with opposition from the Florida League of Cities, whose legislative counsel, David Cruz, said it omits some key issues related to home gardens.

For example, the bill doesn’t restrict the gardens to personal consumption or limit their size. Also, it does not address the safety issues that can stem from unharvested crops, Cruz said.

“The goals here is we want to maintain property levels high at the local level,” he said.

Rewriting the bill to allow local governments “reasonable regulation” as recommended by Simmons “would be a step in the right direction,” Cruz said.

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Living Desert

Throughout the environment, pathways go up and down; they widen, then narrow, just like the natural hiking trails of Tahquitz Canyon. In a couple of spots are trios of
massive elongated boulders, two set
vertically and one across the top, Stonehenge-style. The tops serve as bridges along the pathways; walking beneath, one is forced to duck. “There’s a sense of peril,” Lofthus says, “which is wonderful because that’s the way nature is.”

The garden is awash in color following monsoons in spring and summer. At various points, one might encounter the perennial Wedelia, with its golden flowers; the bright-red tubular blooms of the Coral plant; or a Moon Lagoon eucalyptus tree, which has silvery-blue leaves as a young plant, white flowers, and branches that show shades of maroon in cooler months. There’s also a strategic olfactory component by way of sweet white jasmine and the distinctive pine/camphor scent of creosote, particularly when wet. “Nothing does a happy dance like the desert after a rain,” Lofthus notes.

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IN THE GARDEN: Salty snow may discolor lawn in spring

Take care when shoveling.

As a gardener, we need to use proper outerwear, including shoes, and use the proper tools. The snow shovel should be the right length for the person’s height.

A plastic shovel is lighter than the metal shovel. There are also ergonomic shovels available.

Before going outside, start stretching your muscles to warm up. Focus on stretching your extremities and back.

When shoveling, maintain good posture by keeping your back straight (the natural curve of your spine). Lift the shovel correctly by using your legs: bend at the knees. Keep the shovel close to your body while tightening your stomach muscles and then lift with your legs as if you are doing a squat. Scoop small amounts of snow, making sure to engage your shoulder muscles as much as possible. If the snow is deep remove snow in layers to lessen the snow load on your body.

Newly fallen snow weighs less. Wait until the snowplow has come by to complete your driveway. Use extra care when shoveling the snow at the end of your driveway. The snow that is pushed from snowplows have salt within the snow. Take smaller shovels and find a spot to dump the snow remembering the snow has salt in the contents.

Placing the snow that contains salts on your lawn may lead to a discolored lawn spot in the spring (salt causes burning effect).

Stay safe and enjoy the scenery.

Terri Harrison is a master gardener volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County. Look for more gardening tips in the Times Telegram or online at

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