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Boise giving away free compost to residents

The City of Boise is rewarding those who choose to  participation in the compost program.  The city is giving anyone who participates in the program finished compost free of charge.  The compost is for residential use only; no commercial use is permitted. Here are the details.

Date:

Saturday, November 18th, 9a.m. – 1p.m., or until compost is gone

Locations:

Idaho Transportation Department, 3311 W. State Street (Pickup truck friendly)

Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 N. Penitentiary Road  (Pickup truck friendly)

Whitney Elementary School, 1609 S. Owyhee Street

Boise Urban Garden School, 2955 N. Five Mile Road

How to Participate:

You need to bring a City of Boise utility bill or provide the name and address of the account holder to staff at the event.

Bring your own tools to load your own compost.

The City of Boise recommends using the compost as an addition to soil and application for lawn improvement, mulch around trees and plants at your home for landscaping and as a soil amendment for vegetable gardens.

Can’t make it to the event? That’s okay.  Ongoing collection will be available for Boise compost customers beginning Monday, Nov 20, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the following locations:

Boise WaterShed, 11818 W. Joplin Rd.

Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 N. Penitentiary Road

Article source: http://www.kivitv.com/news/boise-giving-away-free-compost-to-residents

The top gardening trends of 2017 set to sizzle into the new year

WE’VE unearthed some of the top gardening trends of 2017, set to sizzle well into 2018.

Danny from Xteria Landscapes shares his favourites, ideal for those moving into a new home and exploring their options, or others considering a complete or partial garden makeover.

Natural materials

Natural materials such as boulders, rocks, railway ties and sleepers enable homeowners to give their garden a more natural, organic look and that’s a trendy effect that can be furthered with rustic outdoor furniture, including swings, small coffee tables and chairs. If you’re after a more rural or old-fashioned feel, try incorporating natural elements into the garden design.

A mix of old and new

If you don’t want your garden to look too rustic or old-fashioned, a mash-up of old and new could deliver a superb effect. This trend isn’t limited to outdoor spaces and gardens as it’s been popular in residential interiors for some time now and is increasingly prevalent in homes across the world. This could be as simple as a traditional heritage-style garden featuring modern, streamlined furniture or it could entail incorporating modern and traditional ornamental elements throughout the garden and landscaping design.

Bright and bold flowers

Whether you choose to plant them among your garden or make homes for them in ornamental pots on your patio, the colour that they add to landscaped areas is nothing shy of amazing. Some of the most popular of the gloriously bright and bold flowers suitable for landscape designs in Perth include tulips, pansies, daffodils, pink azaleas and snapdragons.

Edible gardening

While having a vegetable and herb garden separate from the non-edible plants in the garden is, and will always be, a popular trend, it’s now common to see vegetables and herbs planted throughout the entire area. Of course, they need to be planted in areas that makes them accessible without having to step over (or on) other plants. As some herbs and vegetables are so attractive, it makes sense to incorporate edibles among your garden.

Article source: https://communitynews.com.au/eastern-reporter/lifestyle/the-top-gardening-trends-of-2017-set-to-sizzle-into-the-new-year

Must owners without gardens chip in for association landscaping costs?

Q: Our senior living neighborhood association is proposing a $12.50 per month assessment increase to buy and install mulch for each household. These are single-family homes with different-sized mulch beds. Currently each house buys their own mulch. A few households opted to install rocks instead. Can our association charge everyone the $12.50 per month and send a year-end refund to the households that have rocks instead of mulch?

A: The answer depends on both your state law as well as your legal documents. In general, every homeowner must pay his or her percentage share of the common expenses. I often hear owners say, “I live on the first floor; why should I pay for elevator maintenance?” or “I don’t use the tennis court; why should I pay for its maintenance?”

Part of the answer is that when you live in a community association, the word “community” is important. You will get some benefits others will not and vice versa, but you still have to participate just like every other owner.

Having said that, many state community association laws permit individual association bylaws to allow for the assessment of common expenses only against the units that are impacted. If there is such language in your bylaws, then the board — instead of having to refund money at the end of each year — could merely assess those homeowners who will benefit from the mulch.

Cold-Tolerant Plants Make Gardening Easy

Cold-Tolerant Plants Make Gardening Easy

Cold-Tolerant Plants Make Gardening Easy

Fred Funk, of the Village of Glenbrook, trims some of the Philippine violets, growing in the butterfly garden Friday at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lady Lake. Local gardeners avoid potential frost or freeze damage with cold-tolerant plants.



Posted: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:00 am

Cold-Tolerant Plants Make Gardening Easy

Some plants don’t require sweaters in the winter. Landscaping with cold-tolerant plants helps home gardens adapt to the cold weather and occasional frost and freezes that define Central Florida winters. And even though the weather isn’t cold enough to freeze plants just yet — highs in the 70s and lows in the mid-50s are expected today and through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service — Villagers are wasting no time to prepare. They don’t want to be caught off guard when a frost or freeze threatens their landscapes.


               

Read this story and many others in Wednesday’s edition of the Daily Sun.

on

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:00 am.

Article source: http://www.thevillagesdailysun.com/news/in_todays_daily_sun/article_c1d58dda-c9c5-11e7-b0a6-dff1a801fce7.html

Lights on the Bay turns on holiday season from Sandy Point State Park

Holiday lights are popping on all over Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, and it’s not even Thanksgiving.

Lights On The Bay will open to the general public Saturday, the first year the annual display at Sandy Point State Park will benefit the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.

A scenic drive along the Chesapeake Bay shoreline, it features more than 60 animated and stationary displays lighting up the roadway. Annual favorites include the giant red teddy bear and the image of Naval Academy Midshipmen tossing their “covers” into the air.

For the past two decades, the display has benefited Anne Arundel Medical Center, but this year it was turned over to the SPCA.

Conservation a benefit of Earth-Kind landscaping

Earth-Kind gardening of any type focuses on using environmentally friendly management practices to produce landscapes that are beautiful, low-maintenance and sustainable. The goals of an Earth-Kind landscape are to conserve water and energy, reduce pesticide and fertilizer use, and to recycle landscape wastes. Unfortunately, some Earth-Kind principles can be challenging to implement in an established landscape especially if the owner does not wish to make drastic changes to the existing design and plantings. The following, however, are five practices that can easily be implemented to transform an existing landscape into one that will be Earth-Kind.

Turf maintenance

Sound turf management can greatly reduce your lawn’s labor, water, and fertilizer requirements. Keeping turf mowed to a reasonably greater height promotes a deeper root system, reduces plant stress, and provides more shade for the soil surface. All these factors reduce the lawn’s water needs. Grass clipping generally contain approximately 2 to 3 percent nitrogen. Leaving them on the lawn will significantly reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizers. Mulching grass clippings (rather than bagging them) also returns organic matter to the soil. Research shows that this practice does not contribute to excessive thatch accumulation when the turf is mowed regularly.

Fertilizing based on soil tests

Sampling the soil in your lawn or landscape properly and having it analyzed can help the environment and your wallet. A soil test will reveal the specific nutrients that your soil may be lacking and will help you choose an appropriate fertilizer. This will allow you to save money and avoid excess nutrient levels in the soil by applying only the type and amount of nutrient needed. You will also reduce pollution in the form of runoff or ground water contamination.

I do a soil test on my yard and vegetable garden every year. Before doing the testing, the chances of success were strictly on a hit or miss basis. Some years, previous to testing, everything turned out well, and then some years were simply disappointing. With regular soil testing I am not guaranteed a marvelous landscape or garden, but the majority of the time I am going to be very pleased with the results.

The Texas AM AgriLife Extension service here in Huntsville can provide you a small bag to collect your soil to be tested. Simply call their office at (936) 435-2426, and they will be glad to help you. After you collect the soil sample, you send it to Texas AM in College Station and in one to two weeks you will receive the results of the soil test. You can receive these results either by postal service or email. The cost for the test is $10. I highly recommend the test because it has really been a big help to me. I think you will be pleased also.

Low-volume irrigation

Drip or micro irrigation is typically 90 percent more efficient compared to a traditional sprinkler because it applies water only where it is needed and slowly enough to minimize runoff and evaporation loss. It also reduces salinity damage and disease on foliage by keeping the water and soil splash off the plants’ leaves. A wide variety of products and kits are available, as are many internet resources that offer guidance on installation.

The Walker County Master Gardener demonstration vegetable gardens, which is in operation on a year-around basis, uses drip irrigation exclusively. These gardens produce an unbelievable amount of vegetables such as, but not limited to tomatoes, squash, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, and collard greens. All of this harvest is given to community organizations such as the Senior Center of Walker County and the Good Shepard Mission. Without the efficient usage of drip irrigation, the amount of fresh vegetables given to these outstanding organizations would be greatly reduced.

Cycle and soak watering irrigation

The drip irrigation system we just reviewed is intended primarily for vegetable and flower gardens, although it will also work nicely on shrubs and newly planted trees. However, the cycle and soak watering irrigation topic will focus mainly on water application on your lawn.

Programing your irrigation system into several shorter cycles can save a substantial amount of water. This method allows time for water to soak in the soil than if you apply the water all at once. Cycle and soak watering is especially beneficial on compacted or clay soils or landscapes with steep slopes where infiltration is slow. Modern irrigation controllers can be easily programmed for cyclic watering and some are already equipped to perform this special function. For manual irrigation, move sprinklers around instead of completely watering one area at a time.

Irrigation auditing/evaluation

Prevented maintenance is what we are talking about here, or an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A regular assessment, at least annually, of your irrigation systems’ efficiency and effectiveness will help identify problems such as leaks or sprinkler heads that are damaged or misaligned. Measuring sprinkler output and coverage will help you determine if the coverage is uniform and how long you should run your irrigation system. A licensed irrigator can perform a formal system audit or a homeowner can conduct an informal evaluation.

If you have questions about this article or any of the Extension programs, contact the AgriLife Extension Office or go to https://walker.agrilife.org/. Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex or religion, disability or national origin. The Texas AM University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners courts of Texas Cooperation. A member of Texas AM University System and its statewide agriculture programs.

Article source: http://www.itemonline.com/news/local_news/conservation-a-benefit-of-earth-kind-landscaping/article_1e9cda3c-8288-505b-aa92-35c4904870ee.html

Western Massachusetts is officially past peak for the fall season

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – You might have noticed that there aren’t as many leaves on the trees anymore!

According to Foliage Network all of western Massachusetts is officially past peak. Most trees are now bare or have lost their pop of color they once briefly had due to the delay in the changing of colors from the lack of rain and warm temperatures in the beginning of the season.

Which means more leaves are in our yards.

Foliage Network has most of western Massachusetts in the “high leaf drop” category and parts of northern Berkshire county in a “nearly complete leaf drop” category.

As your cleaning up your yard you can use some of these leaves for mulching in your perennial gardens. And also your rose gardens!

GH Landscaping advises to not leave any leaves in shrub beds because it can provide a perfect environment for insects that live in that kind of debris to populate. Now is the time to make sure your lawn is cleared from leaves before the first major snowfall.

Gary Courchesne, GH Landscaping, told 22News, “Clean up the bulk of the leaves as soon as you can and than if there are a couple leaves left there on the lawn that’s not usually a problem, but if there is a heavy accumulation of snow and big piles of leaves than the lawn will probably suffer damage.”

Heavy snow accumulation on top of leaves can result in a dead lawn in some areas come spring from the leaves smoothering the turf.

Average snowfall for November is 2.5 inches.

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Article source: http://wwlp.com/2017/11/12/western-massachusetts-is-officially-past-peak-for-the-fall-season/

How to decorate your home like an uber-chic French girl

Think rustic furniture and ‘The Secret Garden’ landscaping. Here’s how to get it.

Decor inspired by the charm of the French countryside is an often sought-after aesthetic. And it’s easy to see why. Who hasn’t dreamt up images of rustic furniture, lush landscaping reminiscent of “The Secret Garden” and natural wood accents (exposed beam ceilings, anyone?)? However, as Betsy Kasha, founding partner of the Parisian real estate agency A+B Kasha informs us, “French country is not a deliberate or studied decor. It is more the result of a lifestyle.” It’s a whimsical life some of us want to lead. Ornate items and unique antiques are often found at Sunday foire a tout (a village yard sale) and then incorporated with more chic pieces at home. “The result is relaxed, interesting, a bit whimsical, and extremely personal,” Kasha says.

Thinking of bringing elements of the French lifestyle into your own home? Inviting gardens, charismatic bedrooms and irresistibly elegant yet cozy living spaces await. Find out how to introduce these design elements to your own abode, whether you live in the country or in the city.

THINK CLASSIC, NOT TRENDY

According to Kasha, French country decor blends comfort, simplicity and beauty — all things that will never go out of style. “[It] endures because it is not trendy,” she says. Give your room the feeling and attitude of the French country lifestyle with found objects that complement your traditional pieces.

ALLOW THE SPACE TO FEEL LIVED IN

Layered rugs and leaning art give a room a casual nonchalance to accompany exposed wooden features and bright open windows. When decorating the bedroom, Kasha focuses on the fabrics. “The iconic colorful striped fabrics from Basque look great in country interiors and are authentically French. I also like the colorful prints of Provence for the table and bedding,” she says. Turn to any of these classic looks for a room with an air of French ease.

CREATE AN OUTDOOR SANCTUARY

There’s nothing more relaxing than spending an afternoon lounging outside in the grass. With the perfect outdoor space and patio furniture, you can host friends for a garden party or plan dinner for the family outside on a warm night. A slow evening outside with a good bottle of wine and even better company exudes a classic French country feeling. All you need are a few seats with decorative cushions and a table for your small bites and drinks.

RE-CREATE THE SIGHTS AND FRAGRANCES OF THE COUNTRY

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a home in the South of France without flowers and greenery growing on the property. Let ivy roam up the walls of your home’s exterior, and plant fragrant roses and, of course, lavender. Allow the breeze to waft the fresh scents into your home through wide-open windows. It will look and smell just like the countryside.

DISPLAY FRESH FLOWERS

“Arranging a beautiful vase or pitcher with fragrant, freshly cut flowers from the garden is one of the great luxuries of French country living,” Kasha says. This is another design element borne of the countryside lifestyle. Pick your fresh flowers, and proudly display them inside for a decoration that’s effortlessly beautiful and fresh. Plus it’s quite easy to do in any home. Tie the space together with an ornate rug and a colorful, rustic cabinet.

EMBRACE THE ARCHITECTURE

According to Kasha, “Both natural and painted wood beams work beautifully and add to the informality of a rustic interior. The same is true with old wood floorboards: They provide incredible warmth and give a lovely patina to the room.” Allow the architecture of a space to stand alone by opting for simple pieces of furniture.

LAYER PATTERNS AND FABRICS

“Natural fabrics, such as cotton, linen and wool, work well in country interiors,” Kasha says. It’s also important to think about the maintenance of these fabrics. She recommends choosing durable materials that don’t require dry cleaning. Less time spent taking care of delicate items will leave you with ample time to enjoy all that country living has to offer. When it comes time to pick a color scheme, Kasha says any colors can work in a country home, but she tends to choose muted reds, blues and greens. Complement the colors and fabrics with a modern chair for the perfect mix of traditional and whimsical.

Article source: http://www.timesonline.com/entertainmentlife/20171111/how-to-decorate-your-home-like-uber-chic-french-girl

Landscaping for the soul

POLOKWANE – Having recently launched her business operating from her own backyard of her home, Rose Khomotso Mamabolo invited BONUS into her lovely home to tell us more about her love and passion for gardening and nature.

Read more: A ‘Rose’ among the thorns

“In 2015 I began to no longer think of gardening as a mere hobby and decided to turn my passion into a means to generate an income.

“I did garden maintenance and waste removal for my neighbours and others in the community to make their gardens look beautiful and clean. Gardening is my core business now and I give it my all so that at the end of the day my customers are satisfied with my services,” she explained.

Rose’s garden.

The mother of two explained gardening brings her pure joy and peace, especially when she sees well-built and well-maintained gardens.

“Life can be challenging and for me seeing and being in a well-built and maintained garden soothes me and brings me closer to God.

“I am deeply in love with nature and gardens have a fresh aroma which is soothing and calming. They are natural healing systems which can help improve a person’s mood and help to heal depression.”

Rose studied landscaping and gardening and firmly believes when one plants a garden, one plants happiness.

“I completed landscaping and gardening courses through Intec College and I want to share my skills and knowledge with the community.”

She recently launched her gardening business, Khomo Garden Court and Creations, which is focused solely on gardening services which encompass all types of gardening and landscaping services from bush cutting, trimming, garden lawn implants, nursery maintenance, selling gardening accessories and other related services.

Khomo Garden Court and Creations’ vision and mission are to encourage close and everlasting relationships with customers by building trust and confidence.

Rose aims to grow her business so she can open branches across South Africa as well as transfer her skills and knowledge to others who share her interest and passion in gardening.

Rose added she created her business mainly to change people’s mindset about gardening in general.

Aside from her blossoming business in Polokwane, Rose also operates a 2 ha farm in Tzaneen where they are doing crop rotation and growing vegetables and maize beans which they sell to the public and other related markets.

[email protected]

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Article source: https://reviewonline.co.za/237352/deep-rooted-love-for-gardens-landscapes/

Garden Visit A New Experience For Moorestown FEP Families

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following column was submitted by Moorestown resident and Friends Enrichment Program (FEP) founder and chairperson Monique Begg:

MOORESTOWN, NJ — On a recent Sunday afternoon, the Friends Enrichment Program (FEP) of Moorestown Friends Meeting led a walk through the wooded path behind Moorestown Friends School, heading for the nearby property of Ken and Dianne Walker on Paul Drive.

Awaiting the participating children, parents, and FEP volunteers was a garden of wonders. It was alive with birds and beneficial insects and an array of trees, flowering plants and herbs in lush beds, with exotic plants growing alongside native plants.

Here, a patch of joe-pye-weed in full bloom, there a patch of milkweeds, the plants on which monarch butterflies almost exclusively deposit their eggs. Nearby stood a spectacular golden rain tree.

What makes that garden special is the Walkers landscaping skills and their devotion to gardening. Ken has acquired expertise in landscaping and Dianne is a Colorstone Gardens landscape designer. For them, gardening is not a chore; it’s a labor of love.

Because most FEP kids live in apartments or in modest houses with little or no space allotted for outdoor gardening, the trip to the Walkers’s garden was an eye-opener. It was a feast for the senses, with an abundance of things to see, to touch, to smell, to taste and, if you were attentive, you could hear the birds calling across the yard.

The visit to the Walker’s garden was more than an enjoyable educational experience. It had been planned as a special event — an opportunity for FEP families to join the Walkers in the celebration of their daughter Tatum’s 25th birthday. They also had a chance to say goodbye and good luck to Tatum, who, a few days later, flew to a job in Denver, Colorado, opening a new chapter of her life, away from home.

To make it even more significant, it was an opportunity for all participants to release milkweed seeds and wish them good luck, too. Hopefully, many of them will germinate and grow into plants whose leaves will feed the caterpillars of new generations of monarch butterflies.

As the FEP group returned to the meetinghouse, one of the kids said, “These people were so nice. I think they liked us. Are we going to see them again?”

Created in 1997 as a philanthropic project of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee of Moorestown Friends Meeting, FEP reaches out to underserved, financially disadvantaged Moorestown children. Led by volunteers, it runs a program of Sunday afternoon activities and it offers scholarships for qualifying children to attend summer camp and enroll in art classes or sports clinics or take private music lessons at no cost to their parents. For more information, call Monique Begg at 856-235-3963.

Patch file photo

Article source: https://patch.com/new-jersey/moorestown/garden-visit-eye-opener-moorestown-fep-families