Martes, Marso 1, 2011

Gardeners wild!

When Carol Klein and her husband, Neil, first moved to Glebe Cottage in north Devon, the garden was an unprepossessing sight. 'It was strewn with old cars and sheds,' Carol recalls. As they laboured to clear it, she looked forward to the day the garden would be tamed but, 32 years later, Carol has come to realise that will never happen. 'It's a privilege to live here and garden here, but it constantly surprises me,' she admits. 'Something that works beautifully one year looks terrible the next. A garden really keeps you on your toes.'

The house and garden are surrounded on all sides by deepest countryside and, as they were growing up, Carol's two daughters would complain that the family lived in the middle of a field. Yet for Carol, there is more excitement and tension in her garden than you would find standing in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. 'Each year, the whole garden is the The house and garden are surrounded on all sides by deepest countryside and, as they were growing up, Carol's two daughters would complain that the family lived in the middle of a field. Yet for Carol, there is more excitement and tension in her garden than you would find standing in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. 'Each year, the whole garden is the scene of an unfolding drama. There is comedy, suspense and intrigue too, and occasionally tragedy. It's exciting, beguiling and ever-changing,' she says. She hates being away from it for any length of time but, somehow, as well as raising two children and caring for this ravishing garden, Carol also fits in running a small nursery, and has nurtured a career as a prolific gardening writer and one of the nation's most popular TV gardening presenters.

Carol's latest TV series - and book - is called Life In A Cottage Garden. Surely, at almost an acre, hers is a bit too big to be called a cottage garden? Not a bit of it, she says firmly. 'It's very much a cottage garden. That's how I think of it.

It's more to do with the style of planting than size or location. You can have a cottage garden in the city or the country, whatever the size of your garden.'

Before the Industrial Revolution, just about every rural home was a cottage, and each cottage had its own garden where essential herbs, vegetables and fruit were grown. As more and more country folk moved to the cities, cottage gardening should have died out, but the Victorians cannily turned this practical garden style into an art form - and a charming reminder of the country life that was rapidly disappearing for most people.

For Carol, the abiding principle of cottage gardening is that it should look unplanned. 'Of course, in reality a garden isn't unplanned. The gardener has to exert quite a bit of control, but the art of cottage gardening is that it should look as if it's just happened,' she says. 'If you're the sort of person who is driven mad by your plants self-seeding into the paving, then cottage gardening is not for you.'

And propagating your own plants, Carol declares, is at the heart of cottage gardening. 'I love sowing seed; it never gets boring for me,' she says. 'And it's such good value if you get into the habit of collecting your seed at the end of the season. So many cottagey plants - sunflowers, nigella, hollyhocks, foxgloves - are so easy to raise from seed.'

Although her garden is very much rooted in tradition, Carol has worked hard to give it a modern twist. 'I plant in layers so I get the most out of every inch - big bulbs first, then small bulbs, then perennials or annuals on top. Getting your garden to look good all year is another challenge for modern gardeners. Traditional cottage gardens would peak in summer, then fade. Nowadays, we want to keep our gardens going for as long as possible.'

Will the cottage-garden style ever go out of fashion? Carol says not. 'It's a concept that is endlessly flexible. If you want to plant a bit of everything, in an informal style, then it's for you, whatever sort of garden you have. Just remember that you're not in control - the garden is.'

Life In A Cottage Garden, Fridays, BBC2, 8.30pm. Life In A Cottage Garden by Carol Klein is published by BBC Books at Pounds 20. To order a copy for Pounds 16.99 (incl p&p), tel: 0845 155 0720.

Late Annie Roberts was the backbone of Myshall community

Aged 73 when she died, Annie celebrated 50 years in business in Myshall back in September and was a much respected business woman in the area.

Born and reared in Myshall, she married Matthew Roberts from Kildavin in 1957 and three years later, the couple opened Roberts Bar and Shop in the village. Together, the couple had five children, Sean, PJ, Marty, Maurice and Gretta but Annie was still a young woman when her beloved Matthew passed away almost thirty years ago in 1981.

Still, she continued in her various roles in her busy life and carved a name for herself as being a great business woman. As a country publican, she often ended up as a social worker, a listener and a fixer as well as grocer and bar person. Being good with her hands, she thrived in the company of the ICA and was a wonderful cook, designer and seamstress.

Annie was so proud of where she came from and so was always looking out for ways to help the community.

She was supportive of all things to do with Myshall and, in particular, Naomh Eoin GFC and the Vintage Club. But she was the founder and instigator too of many other groups like the gardening and art clubs, Myshall Tidy Town and Carlow Rural Tourism. In fact, anything that would better the lives of people in the area, Annie Roberts was probably involved in it somewhere along the line.

Annie loved and was very proud of the Adelaide Memorial Church and was a loyal supporter of the Church of Ireland fundraising initiatives for it. She was also a very faithful parishioner in the Catholic community,

It was a testament to the esteem in which she was held that not even a snow storm and its resulting snow drifts could stop people from paying their respects to the Roberts family.

Indeed, they would like to thank sincerely the small army of men who on December 4 voluntary cleared Myshall's main road and footpaths of snow and ice, all the way to the church and beyond it to Lisconly cemetery. It was a deeply moving scene for family and friends to see Annie's six grandsons carry her coffin from her home that she established all those years ago to the church.

Annie is deeply missed by her children, her eight grandchildren, Mathew, Amy, Thomas, Mairaad, Brendan, Nicky, Barry and Niall, her brother, William Doyle, (Bealalaw), sister, Sally Murphy, (Kilbride), Aunt Mary Fenelon, (Shangarry), in-laws, family and friends.

Her month's mind Mass will be held on January 7 at 7.30 p.m. in Myshall church.


Peace now

Who says we have lost the sense of brotherhood and the urge to do great things for peace? Not in Jerusalem. To celebrate the traditional annual week of prayers for "world peace and brotherhood" - held this year in the Greek Orthodox Church in the Old City - an impressive amount of goodwill was required. Jerusalem Capital Studios, in collaboration with a high-ranking professional delegation from France Television, managed to bring - with the full logistic support of the Jerusalem Police - a huge mobile TV van through the narrowest alleys of the Old City, to record and broadcast to millions of French faithful the special mass of this week. For this endeavor, the 350 different churches in the world, most of which are represented in the Holy City, set aside their disagreements and made it happen.

Power to the youth

For the first time, local youth who are cared for by the municipality's Division for the Advancement of Youth completed a special professional training course. Three hundred and fifty people aged 14 to 18 were sent to various professional training courses sponsored by the municipality, to acquire the tools necessary to become independent and self-supporting. Makbetz, the center which launched and supervised the project, provided the participants with a large variety of courses: gardening, painting, manufacturing scented candles, Judaica art and so on. In addition, the youths learned basic values of the work ethic - like arriving on time to work and perseverance. The students received also a full psychological consultation and workshops to complete their preparation for the "real thing" - to work "out there."

East side

The David Yellin Academic College of Education and the Hebrew University have launched two new programs in the Arab education system in the eastern part of the city, both sponsored by the Jerusalem Education Authority at the municipality. The Hebrew University Department of Mathematics is giving advanced courses to the teachers, while the David Yellin College is helping the principals reach complete budget and administrative autonomy in their schools. The municipal education department hopes, that way, to enhance the autonomy of the schools and to enhance the chances of the students achieving better results in their studies.

New-old guy

Former Tourism Ministry director-general Rafi Praver has just been reelected (for the third time) as deputy manager of the Israel Hotels Association. Praver, 62, is the representative of two hotels in the capital: Olive Tree and Lev Yerushalayim. He will be second to the recently elected president of the association, Ami Federman, and has already announced his agenda: obtaining generous funding for renovations and overhauls of hotels, refunding from the ministry and tax reductions. Meanwhile, there is at least one hotel in this city that tries to pamper its clients before trying to reduce its expenses: The Inbal offers its guests full Internet connection for free and a few more bonuses for those who cannot stop being connected even when they are so close to the holy sites.(c) Copyright Jerusalem Post. All rights reserved.

Top Japanese Gardener to Host Class 'Master the Art of Japanese Gardening'

On Saturday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., one of America's top Japanese gardeners, Mr. Shoji Kanaoka, will teach a hands-on demonstration class, "Master the Art of Japanese Gardening," at the Winter Park Welcome Center located at 151 West Lyman Avenue.
In 2008, Mr. Kanaoka and his colleague, Naoko Izuhara, worked with the city's Parks & Recreation Department to design and develop Tsuboniwa, the city's first authentic Japanese garden on the southern end of Central Park. Tsuboniwa is a Japanese term that means a small-scale garden, lending itself unusually well in enclosed spaces. Mr. Kanaoka diligently arranged the items of the garden to humanize, decorate and allow it to function practically in daily life. Balance and proportion was sought during creation, and the natural elements of wind, sounds, seasons and sunlight added to the meaning of the carefully arranged space.
Because of the success of Tsuboniwa and Mr. Kanaoka's love for the art of Japanese gardening he wanted to share his extensive training with others through this class. Mr. Kanaoka received his degree in landscape architecture in 1975 from South Kyushu University in Japan. To further pursue his passion, he moved to Kyoto, Japan, the world's center of Japanese gardening, and joined Japan's Teranishi Landscaping Company. After receiving training from the masters of Japan, he then moved to the United States.
This is where his start with Disney(R) began and flourished, serving as gardener foreman for the Japanese garden at Epcot's(R) World Showcase, arborist foreman for Disney's Horticulture, and now serves as arborist for Disney's ESPN(R) Wide World of Sports Complex. In addition, Mr. Kanaoka designed the 1.3-acre Shiojiri Niwa Park in Mishawaka, Ind., and in 1991, won the Landscape Award from the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association for the design and installation of his garden in Montverde, Fla.
To attend the "Master the Art of Japanese Gardening" class and learn the techniques from a skilled master, please make your reservations by calling 407-599-3397 no later than Wednesday, March 9. The class is free, however, space is limited. Arigatou gozaimasu (thank you very much).


The Eastern Iowa Community College District issued the following news release:
Muscatine Community College's Continuing Education Department is again offering its popular Art of Gardening daylong seminar. This year's seminar will be held Saturday, March 19, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the college's Strahan Hall, 152 Colorado Street.
The seminar traditionally covers a wide spectrum of topics including florals, gardening, landscaping and more.
Evelyn Hadden, one of nine members of the new national Lawn Reform Coalition, will serve as keynote speaker for the event. She has been writing about ecological gardening, lawn alternatives and ideas for shrinking lawns since 2001 when she started the informational website She gardens in Minnesota and travels across the country speaking to other gardeners.
Hadden has authored two books and is working on a third. Her recent book, Shrink Your Lawn: Design Ideas for any Landscape, won a silver medal from Independent Publisher's 2009 Living Now Book Awards.
A total of 23 breakout sessions are scheduled for the day as well as vendor exhibits. A partial list of the session is below.