Get Your Winning Dreamscape Ticket TODAY! Ticket Sales End June 4th!

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

Have you purchased your Dreamscape ticket yet? There are just 7 days left to purchase a ticket and make sure it is in the raffle drum on Thursday June 6th at Alexander Park. By participating in the Dreamscape Raffle, you’re not only giving yourself a chance for beautification, you’re giving all of Akron an opportunity too.

For ten years, the Dreamscape Raffle has funded Keep Akron Beautiful’s Flowerscape Program. There were 36,000 flowers planted throughout the 39 Flowerscapes in 2012, helping to beautify Akron’s landscape!

The Flowerscape at Mud Run.

This year’s lead landscape designer is Nick Roth, of Nick’s Landscaping of Ohio, LLC. Nick’s Landscaping has been a long-term vendor partner. Dave Thomas of R.G. Thomas Landscape & Design, Inc. did a fantastic job last year as lead landscape designer, transforming the backyard of David Canfield, a Copley resident. Nick has some big shoes to fill but we’re excited to see what he can do!

Joining Nick’s Landscaping in this collaborative effort,  offering goods and services for the landscape makeover areAdvanced Arboriculture, Belgard® SalesCascade Lighting, Inc.Circle K, Dayton NurseriesDonzell’s Greenhouse & Garden CenterHitchcock Fleming & Associates, Inc., Main Street Gourmet, Naragon IrrigationPam’s Perennial Plant Farm, Paul’s Greenhouse, R.B. Stout, Inc.R.G. Thomas Landscape and Design, Inc.Gates Landscaping Co.Graf Growers Garden CenterKB Compost Services, Inc.Star Printing Co. Inc.Suncrest GardensTim’s Custom Electric,  Terrascape LTD., W.L. Tucker Supply Co.,Vision Graphics & PrintingWilson Plumbing & Heating, Inc. and YES Press Printing Co.

You can join our team and help us beautify Akron! Purchase your Dreamscape Raffle ticket today! In addition to online, tickets can be purchased at the KAB office located at 850 East Market Street, Akron, or the following locations, until Monday June 3rd: Dayton Nurseries, Inc., Donzell’s Flower & Garden Center, Inc. Graf Growers Garden Center, Paul’s Greenhouse, Suncrest Gardens.

Remember, our grand prize winner from 2012 purchased his ticket online. Raffle tickets are $25 each or five for $100.

The “after” photo of 2012 winner, David Canfield’s backyard makeover.

Owners of Summit County businesses or residences can enter to win a professionally designed front or back yard makeover valued at $10,000.

The winner will have until the end of June to meet with Nick Roth of Nick’s Landscaping, to create their plan for the landscape transformation the week of August 5-9, 2013. The grand prize winner may choose tomake over the front or back yard of their property

In addition to the grand prize ticket, there are three runner-up prizes. Runner-up prizes include 4 yards of mulch or compost blown into landscaped beds by TerraScape, LTD, a birdbath donated by Suncrest Gardens and a basket of gardening supplies courtesy of Graf Growers.

Flowerscape site at Alexander Park on West Market Street.

Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscape Notes

By Polly Kaczmarek, Flowerscape Director

Hi folks! Sue, Chuck, Tim and I have been around the City of Akron prepping and planting Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscapes. We’re ready for another beautifully bloomin’ year.

Since a lot of my friends know what I do, I get a lot of planting or plant questions. So, I thought I would share some of the most popular ones with you: What type of ornamental grass is planted behind the sidewalk benches in front of the City of Akron’s Lock 3 park? What advice do you have for planting a flat of flowers? and What type of tall, stalky year-round flowers are at the KAB offices, at the Flowerscape at Cedar and Maple and at Lock 3?

KAB plants pennisetum karley rose

Picture of a blooming pennisetum karley rose.

 

What type of ornamental grass is planted behind the sidewalk benches in front of the City of Akron’s Lock 3 parkPennisetum karley rose, which blooms feathery, fluffy pink flowers around July and through the fall. It is a slow spreading oriental fountain grass. Hearty and reliable for any garden.

 

See this plant behind benches at Lock 3 below.

 

KAB plants pennisetum karley rose at downtown Akron's Lock 3

KAB plants pennisetum karley rose behind park benches at Downtown Akron’s Lock 3

 

What advice do you have for planting a flat of flowers?

First of all, it’s best to follow the lighting requirements on the flat card insert, or check the Internet. You’ll find that most petunias thrive in full sun while violas typically prefer shade. However, sometimes all this can depend on a species of flower. For example, some different species of geraniums bloom better in sun while others in the shade.

After finding the best spot in your beds from doing your sun/shade research you:  prep the soil with peat moss or compost, loosen up the root ball a little bit, because it gets all bound in their little flat cup, and then plant flowers as deep as they are in the flat you received.

Kab plants limelight hydrangeas in their flowerscape beds

Picture of blooming limelight hydrangeas

 

What type of tall, stalky year-round flowers are at the KAB offices, at the Flowerscape at Cedar and Maple and at Lock 3?

Those are perennials (a plant that can last through the seasons for more than two years) called limelight hydrangea. It is actually a shrub that blooms light green blossoms in July which slowly change to a pink shade by September.

 

See picture below of limelight hydrangeas in bloom (in the back) in 2012 at KAB offices.

 

kab planted limelight hydrangeas at their location at 850 e market st akron

Keep Akron Beautiful has limelight hydrangeas that bloom each year at their offices located in the Central Services Facilities Building at 850 E. Market St., Akron. They are shown in the far back of this camera shot taken in 2012.

Happy Planting from the Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscape Crew!

Donate to the KAB Flowerscape Program today.

Farmers Markets Coming to a Place Near You!

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

Summit County has 15 places for farmers markets that will be taking place throughout summer 2013! So… what does that mean to you? Here are some frequently asked questions AND answers for you on Farmers Markets! Oh… and don’t forget to check out the listing of some of the Farmers Markets in Summit County at the bottom of the post.

What is a Farmers Market?  A farmers market is a public and recurring assembly of farmers or their representatives, selling directly to consumers food which they have produced themselves.  More specifically, a farmers market operates multiple times per year and is organized for the purpose of facilitating personal connections that create mutual benefits for local farmers, shoppers, and communities.  The number of farmers markets in the United States has steadily grown to more than 7,500 registered with the USDA Farmers Market Directory in 2012.

How do Farmers Markets decide what to carry? What is at market depends on a combination of location, season, and market rules about what can be sold. Many farmers markets only carry locally-grown, locally-made and/or locally-processed, foods, and create a system of guidelines that ensure vendors are producing what they are selling. Others have more flexible policies. The great thing about farmers markets is that if you are ever unsure about what a product is, where it came from, or how it was grown, you can just ask!

Why should I shop at a Farmers Market when my supermarket sells organic, and even local food?  While some food retailers do carry local and organic products, not all of them can carry a variety of local foods, or ensure a fair price to the farmer. Shopping at a farmers market is a wholly unique experience that benefits farmers and producers directly (they go home with a greater share of the retail price than they would by selling wholesale, where the margins are, well, just that– marginal), offering you more unique products, more heirloom varieties, and more opportunities to build relationships and learn about healthy eating. Farmers markets are a community experience, where you can meet your neighbors, friends, and farmers, and where more of your dollar will stay in the community.

Fresh vegetables from the Countryside Conservancy Farmers Market.

Some Farmers Markets Near You:

  • Akron–Countryside Farmers Market in Highland Square, West market Street and Conger Avenue, 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays from May 30- October 3.
  • Akron–Market at Lock 3, Lock 3 Park, South Main Street downtown. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays from July 19 to September 27.
  • Bath Township–Akron General Health and Wellness Center-West, 4125 Medina Road. 3-6 p.m. on Tuesdays, June 18-September 24.
  • Copley–Copley Creekside Farmers Market, 1245 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Copley. 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, May 30-October 24.
  • Cuyahoga Falls–Falls Farmers Market, Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Ave., 2-5:30 p.m. on Friday’s, June 14-October 4.
  • Green–City of Green Farmers Market, grassy lot adjacent to the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd. 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday’s, June 18-October 8.
  • Hudson–Hudson Farmers Market, Village Green at state Routes 91 and 303. 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturday’s, June 8- September 28.
  • Macedonia–City of Macedonia Parks and Recreation Department Summer Farmers Market, Memorial Park, intersection of state Route 82 and South Bedford Road. 3 to 6 p.m., Tuesday’s, June 25- September 10.
  • Stow–Stow Community Farmers Market, Stow Community United Church of Christ, 1567 Pilgirm Drive. 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, June 8 to October 5.
  • Tallmadge–Tallmadge Farmers Market, Tallmadge Recreation Center parking lot, 46 N. Munroe Road. 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday’s, June 13- October 17.

 

Grandma was a Recycler and Composter

by Cindy Pantea

I thought it was crazy at the time. Grandma washing out bread bags to reuse for lunchbox sandwiches, washing tin foil for reuse, and that smelly metal Maxwell House recycling can under the kitchen sink housing rotten, fermenting food scraps for her garden.

If you had grandparents or parents who lived through the depression era of the 30s, this may sound familiar. Now, we have been experiencing tough economic times, and you are hearing more and more about recycling and sustainable gardening — actions we should have been borrowing from our recycling, composting grandparents and then perfecting and showing our kids how to do.

We Became Wasteful

There’s no denying it…we were wasteful. And guess what? Now we are experiencing hard times economically. History sure has a way of repeating itself it seems.

Plus, our wastefulness has put our planet in jeopardy. So many of us are just now reusing glass or plastic containers, or at least putting them in our City of Akron recycling bins.

But when it comes to gardening, we are having a tough time getting things to grow or having to spend a lot of money on good soil just to get the $4.00 quarter grown tomato plant to make its fruit. So we think it is easier to just buy the food we need. Until that grocery bill climbs as high as the scraps of food we send to the landfill.

We could just compost, of course.  Ewww…but the contents of that coffee can smelled awful.

On the other hand, I will say this about the contents of that smelly coffee can: Grandma had a great berry patch and vegetable/fruit garden (as well as flowerbed), and she certainly shared with us the fruits and vegetables of her extra effort.

Composting Doesn’t Have to Stink

Grandma obviously did her own type of composting. She was saving scraps and rotting them down to throw right in the garden soil. It worked for her, but Polly, our Flowerscape Director, doesn’t recommend it, as you run the risk of the fermenting scraps being too acidic for your garden plants.

But Grandma was on the right track. For indoor composting, she should have:

  1. Poked some holes in the bottom and top sides of a larger metal or plastic container.
  2. Sat the container on a brick (or something to keep the bottom from touching the floor) and also sit the brick in/on a flat container or something to catch leakage or spills. Note: Steps 1 and 2 give the compost pile air, which is necessary to the composting process.
  3. Layered the food scraps with dirt then dried, dying plant material (leaves from outside, leaves from an inside plant), and then adding water. Note: This layering step is really what helps eliminates the smell.
  4. Stirred the composting material regularly. Note: You can actually speed up the composting process by stirring more often.

Of course, she also could have just taken her scraps outside more often to an outdoor compost bin and done the same process. As long as you are layering with dirt and yard material (grass, leaves, small twigs) you’re good to go.

Here’s something else to remember: Don’t add oils, bones, meat or fish to your compost pile.

The compost is ready when it looks like soil that is consistent in texture, without any recognizable organic materials like your food scraps and leaves. Sometimes you’ll see a tiny twig or wood bit which is okay, but the rest should be unrecognizable. Also, the compost should not stink but rather have a pleasant and earthy scent.