Learn gardening tips on zoom through a York County ‘Master Your Garden’ program

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The York County Public Library, Poquoson Public Library, and York-Poquoson Master Gardeners are hosting a series of educational gardening seminars on Zoom. (WYDaily/ Annie Gallo)
The York County Public Library, Poquoson Public Library, and York-Poquoson Master Gardeners are hosting a series of educational gardening seminars on Zoom. (WYDaily/ Annie Gallo)

Get prepared for a beautiful garden this spring and summer by learning some tips and tricks from a local virtual Master Your Garden class.

York County and Poquoson Public Libraries are partnering with the York-Poquoson Virginia Cooperative Extension office to host a series of virtual classes presented by Master Gardeners.

Master Gardeners’ mission as trained volunteers in partnership with the York–Poquoson, VCE agency, is to provide gardening educational opportunities to the public through research-based gardening programs and activities to enhance the environment and community. For more information on Master Gardeners click here.

The Master Your Garden series features a variety of Saturday seminars to help community members improve their gardening skills. Below are the classes on the schedule:

Starting from Seed (Feb. 6)

  • Join Master Gardener Nate Brauner and learn simple techniques and secrets to growing flowers, vegetables and favorite plants from seeds at home.

Pruning (Feb. 13)

  • Master Gardener Mary Boxer will lead the class to teach the safe and proper use of pruning tools to improve the health, longevity and appearance of
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Aluminum kitchen ware were once popular wedding gifts: Antiques & Collectibles | Home & Garden

Additional settings were available for purchase, and the pieces could be ordered from a marketing company in Garden City, New York.

Liberty Blue dinnerware also was offered to grocery stores nationwide for promotional use. However, by the 1980s, the sets were no longer available.

Soon, folks who had purchased or inherited sets and wanted to add pieces were able to do that on eBay, so for some time additional pieces could be bought.

In October 1976, the promotion was discontinued.

However, it was still possible to order items from the Signa Marketing Co. located in New Jersey.

At a later time, Liberty Blue was made available to grocery stores nationwide for promotional use, but soon demand for the ware was no longer strong. However, eventually eBay created a market where purchasers who had inherited the sets found they were able to complete and enlarge them with eBay’s assistance.

Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Living section, The Press of Atlantic City, 1000 W. Washington Ave., Pleasantville, NJ 08232.

Email: treasuresby alyce81@hotmail.com.

Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.

Alyce Hand

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The Kitchen Garden: Layout Ideas and Tips

Are you planning to start growing your own food this year? Are you looking for ways to improve or expand your existing kitchen garden? As a garden designer, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite kitchen garden layout ideas and tips, to help you make this year’s garden a success.

As with so many things in gardening, garden layout carries few hard and fast rules. There is no “one size fits all” approach. You need to take your location and individual circumstances into account. But here are some things that you might like to consider.

Think Outside the Box

Many kitchen gardeners begin with one of two ideas – traditional row planting, or the small space techniques of square foot gardening. But a kitchen garden definitely does not have to be so regimented. You can implement the ideas of either (or both) of these typical methodologies while still thinking outside the box.

Beds, for example, do not need to be square or rectangular. While sometimes using these shapes may be the best choice, other ideas can sometimes win out. Consider curving, more natural forms, as you might in an ornamental garden. You might even like to

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19 fun ways to light up your garden in style

Looking to brighten up your plot? Try these festoon light ideas – they will instantly add sparkle and style to your space. Whether you’re after a cosy outdoor living room or an atmosphere that’s fit for a party, it’s easy to see why they’re such a popular go-to. Effective, affordable, and easy to string along a fence or hang from a pergola – what’s not to love? They’re the perfect choice if you’re on the lookout for garden lighting ideas.



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‘When it comes to styling your festoons, there are so many options,’ says the team at Lights4fun. ‘For a subtle illumination around your garden we recommend swagging the lights along an exterior wall or fence, or for the ultimate wow-factor create a festoon canopy overhead, this looks particularly effective over an outdoor dining table or seating area and adds an inviting warm glow to your space.’

Thalia Shaw, owner of Sparkle Lighting, adds, ‘Festoon lights are a great affordable option to create atmosphere in a garden. They are brilliant for emphasising a focal point such as a barbecue area, dining area or sitting area,’ or ‘for creating a zone.’

Sounds perfect,

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18 ways to give your garden a stylish makeover

Our decking ideas are just what you need to elevate your plot. If you haven’t considered adding decking before, now’s the perfect time to do so. It’s a practical way to level out sloping gardens, but will look great on flat plots too. Either way, decking will provide a chic and sturdy surface for garden furniture.



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The best decking is also incredibly versatile. Choose timber or timber-lookalike composite decking for a natural look that will blend into the surroundings. Or, why not go for a bold and bright colour to create a striking effect?

So, keep scrolling for some great ideas, then take a look at our other landscaping ideas for more inspiration for your plot. 

1. Blend your decking with the background

For a laid-back look, choose a decking that blends into its surroundings. Light-coloured wood gives a fuss-free feel, and will help to widen even a narrow space.

It goes to show that sometimes, less is more. Have fun experimenting with lines, natural materials, and the subtle details. For example, add a pair of outdoor seats in a different shade of wood, or nearby wooden edging using a different direction of

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Gardening Etcetera: Forget the beds, try container gardening | Home and Garden

Now, let’s move on to ornamentals and choices for pots or containers. If you plan on leaving your pots outside during our frigid winters, I recommend and have always used Vietnamese ceramic pots. Stone containers are also freeze-tolerant and come in many shapes and sizes but are quite cumbersome. Plastic ones could break when cold, and the same for terra cotta. Whatever container you choose, be certain there’s a drainage hole at the bottom.

Be creative—many garden and household objects may become plant containers. A child’s old, red wagon looks radiant, as well as whimsical when overflowing with annuals such as petunias and oregano—yes, you can intermingle herbs with flowers. Or, find an old coat rack, set it out on your patio, and hang baskets or old purses brimming with flowers and herbs on the arms. Colorful veggies like ruby Swiss chard and purple kohlrabi are lovely, as well as edible.

Don’t worry too much if the plant label says “full sun”. In Northern Arizona, we receive a higher intensity of light rays than folks in other parts of the country, so five hours of sunlight may be sufficient.

As spring heads into summer, you can easily replace your potted

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Extension Spotlight: Healthy gardening | Home And Garden

Part of my responsibilities as an OSU Extension horticulture agent is to teach Douglas County Master Gardener volunteers the art and science of sustainable gardening.

When we garden or landscape sustainably, we adopt a low input style of gardening that strives to reconnect our landscapes to nature.

This physical reconnection with nature means that we want our property to provide all the ecological services that the native land once provided. Services like habitat for wildlife which includes insects, food sources for pollinators, natural water absorbing surfaces that feed ground water, allowing leaves and other organic waste to be recycled on our property to enhance the soil, and layers of vegetation in our landscape that approximate the original biomass of our forests to clean air and cool our cities.

Sustainable gardening teaches us to move away from gardening practices that do not provide these necessary ecological services. Strive to stop fighting all insects with pesticides, use native plants that require less irrigation and provide habitat and food for our native birds and insects, reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers that often create too much vigor and can pollute waterways, recycle garden waste by composting, and minimize the use of high input

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Gardeners’ Dirt: A year’s journey gardening in England | Home And Garden

The visits to my daughter and her family in Chelmsford, England, have developed my interest in British daily activities like gardening. A documentary on the “Garden at Buckingham Palace” further drew my attention.

This garden is located in the middle of the bustling city of London next to Buckingham Palace. The gardens date back to Lord Goring in the 1640s when he bought fields outside the western boundary of the Royal Hunting Park, which he turned into opulent gardens. Originally designed in 1640, the garden has continually been redesigned through the centuries.

These 39 acres are divided into areas like the rose garden and the yard with a manmade lake. Eight full-time gardeners and three part-time gardeners work to keep the garden looking lush. Queen Elizabeth II annually hosts parties in the gardens in honor of special groups who made a contribution to country, community or commonwealth; they are not open to the public.

A variety of plants found in this garden, such as dahlias, pelargoniums (geraniums) and herbs like lemon verbena, are also found in many British gardens. Also found in the garden are a variety of trees like mulberry and plane trees. As young girls, the queen and

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Laurie Garretson: Gardening chores that can be done now | Home And Garden

If you’re a gardener who is anxious for warm, spring weather to arrive so you can work in your garden, stop wishing and take advantage of the sunny, warm, spring-like days we occasionally do have this time of year.

There are lots of gardening chores that can be done now. Putting them off just means more work in the near future. Spring will be here before you know it and for gardeners, spring usually means lots of chores. Let’s see what garden chores we can take care of now that will help to lighten the spring gardening workload.

If you are tired of mowing the lawn and paying higher water bills, especially during our dry, hot summers, then maybe now is a good time to do away with some of your lawn areas. Replace lawn grass with ground covers like gravel, crushed granite, flagstones, monkey grass, low growing sedums, or maybe just replace some lawn areas with native plants and native grasses.

Now could be a good time to start the installation of that water garden you’ve been wanting. A lot of this project can be accomplished without getting wet, which I think could be a plus this time of

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Gardening: Know when and how to use pesticides in your garden | Columnists

Did Santa stock your shed this Christmas? Perhaps a new shovel or shiny hand pruners? There are so many tools we can use to avoid using pesticides, but sometimes you have a decision to make. Like, do I get to eat the broccoli or are the cabbage loopers going to eat it all?

I would say one of the most important tools in the shed, if not the most important, is knowledge. Especially when it comes to pesticides.

The Trident Technical College horticulture program will be teaching an online pesticides class this spring. At the end of the semester, students are prepared to take the Commercial Applicator license exam. They are required to have a license to legally apply pesticides to a property that is not their own.

This class, however, isn’t about spray, spray, spray. It’s learning if you need to spray, what to spray and how to safely do it. What are the risks involved to you, the people around you and the environment? Which products are your safest options?



Gardening: Holly plants are ubiquitous with the holidays. Here's how to grow them in SC.

I’ve had many students say they don’t want to take the class because they don’t plan on using pesticides. I’m right with you. I don’t plan

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