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Landscape Lights Are Bright in 2014 on #Landscapechat

 

Corona Tools Lighting landscapechat The new year is starting off shiny and bright on landscapechat's updated format and topics for 2014.  Landscape lighting is an important element in any landscape, not just for aesthetics but for safety, security and enjoying your landscape during the day and night.  Whether you are homeowner or landscape lighting professional, this week’s chat offers something for everyone.

Join @CoronaTools and #landscapechat co-partner, Brian Horn, managing editor at GIE Media, Inc. Lawn & Landscape Magazine @LawnLandscape, as we shed some light on this illuminating topic.  Also joining the conversation is Andrew Coleman, outdoor lighting designer of Omaha-based, McKay Landscape Lighting @McKayLighting. The live chat begins 1/8/14 at 11AM PST via Twitter, where we come together with green industry experts and fellow landscape tweeps each week to discuss all things related to landscape, since 2011!

Some of the key takeaways that will be covered during the live chat include;

Importance of Lighting in Landscape: With more people enjoying their outdoor surrounding for relaxing and entertaining, we’ll cover the why’s and how’s for using landscape lighting. Corona Tools Lighting Landscapechat LL logo
Benefits of Landscape Lighting:  Landscape lighting adds beauty and interest to any landscape as well as increases safety and detours theft and break-ins  Corona Tools Lighting Landscapechat M logo
Latest Trends in Outdoor Lighting: Discover new trends in landscape lighting technologies and the industry outlook.  
Adding Lighting to Your Landscape: Understanding the ins and outs for adding landscape lighting to new and existing landscape designs.  Even on small budgets!  
Landscape Lighting Professionals: Learn about what it takes to be a lighting professional and what you should know when hiring them.  

 

Don’t miss out on this enlightening topic from these green industry experts!  It's easy to join the conversation via Twitter and search for the #landscapechat hashtag. If you do miss the chat, you can still access the Storify recap, accessible 24/7 that will be posted following the live chat. The transcript includes all the information and links shared during the discussion.

Come share with us on this great event and we look forward to chatting with you live on #landscapechat!

Landscape lighting photo is courtesy of McKay Landscape Lighting

Hope in Bloom: The Healing Powers of Gardening

 

It's National Horticultural Therapy Week so we thought we would share a bit about the healing benefits of gardening, which we covered today on landscapechat.  Horticultural therapy and gardening is good for the mind, body and soul with offer many positive effects on everyone.

According to Dr. Roger Ulrich, Professor of Architecture at Texas A&M University and behavioral scientist, who conducts research on the effects of healthcare facilities on medical outcomes, there is scientific evidence to support the therapeutic and healing benefits a garden can provide

Citing from his 2002 paper, Health Benefits of Gardens in Hospitals, Ulrich presented case study findings where he claimed there was considerable evidence to support the restorative effects gardens have on our minds and body, elevating positive feelings and reducing negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness. The value they provide to patients recovering from a medical treatment or illness can be seen firsthand from organizations such as the one-of-a-kind, Hope In Bloom.

Hope In Bloom is an all-volunteer program dedicated to planting and maintaining gardens for breast cancer patients undergoing treatment. Roberta Dehman Hershon, founded the Massachusetts-based, non-profit organization, after losing her close friend, Beverly, to breast cancer in 2005. Beverly had a tremendous love for flowers and took great pride in her garden. Roberta knew how much Bev's garden meant to her and that she did not have the energy to take care of it while she was having chemo. Roberta stepped in to maintain the garden and fill the house with fresh cut flowers, which were a great comfort and lifted both their spirits.

Hope in Bloom first reached out to Corona in 2009 to ask the company to donate pruners for their volunteers to use. After researching the organization and learning how its recipients credit much of their garden's therapeutic benefits to their recovery, we were pleased to provide them with the tools. Recently, Roberta sent us some pictures of the volunteers using the tools and added; "Through Corona's generosity, Hope in Bloom was able to equip volunteers with pruners. The tools help them effectively deadhead and shape recipients' existing plants to make their gardens even more beautiful."  The program also gained national recognition when the NBC Nightly News aired this touching Making A Difference segment in 2012. 

As one of the Corona Cares program organizers, I find the program is a unique opportunity to learn about and help organizations such as Hope In Bloom, who tirelessly give of themselves by helping others. It's a great example of how when people work together, we truly can make a difference in the world, one person at a time.

Thanks to Roberta Dehman Hershon and the Hope In Bloom volunteers for their hard work, ongoing dedication and for bringing the healing benefits of gardens to those in need.  Visit the Hope In Bloom website to see their gardens, meet some of their recipients, or be inspired to reach out and help someone going through a difficult time. 

How does gardening help your well-being? Please share it with us!

4-1-1 on Social Networks for Tree and Landscape Pros on #Treechat

 

Corona Tools Social NetworksAs social networks become increasingly popular, it’s becoming more of a challenge to plan your marketing strategies for using them effectively. Especially when need to promote your tree care and landscape business. With new networks promising to be the next great thing to on-going changes in popular ones, how do you determine which you should participate in to make the best use of your time? Get some Vine, a comfy chair, a heaping helping of Pinterest or other favorite social network and well take a look at some of the ways to navigate through them, get your message out and help maximize your time! It’s all coming up on #treechat this week so don’t miss it.

With a TREEmendous amount of information to cover, we’re kicking off the chat 30 minutes early on 3/12/13 at 10:30 AM PST for this special 90 minute chat. Please join @Coronatools and other industry experts each week via Twitter for #treechat. Discussing all things related to trees and tree care since 2010!

Topic highlights covered during this week's chat includes;

  • Social Networks for Business – which ones are right for you and how to use them
  • What Works for You – which networks are working for you and which do you avoid
  • Up and Coming Networks – a look at growing niche networks 
  • Budget Your Time – tips for making the best use of your time for maximum results
  • Hands on Demos – real-time discussion of Vine for Twitter and how it may work for you
  • And Much More!

Whether you’re a tech savvy guru, new to social networks and still deciding where you should be spend your time, or a seasoned tweep that ready to up your social game, you will not want to miss this chat. We’ll have plenty of experts and resources available during the special 90 minute chat so come join the conversation and knowledge.

And if you have questions related to this topic that you would like to discuss during the chat, please leave it in the comments below or tweet it to @Coronatools prior the live chat. Questions are always encouraged during the live event too.

If you do miss the chat, don't worry, you can still access the #treechat Storify 24/7 that will be posted following the chat. The transcript includes all the information and links we shared during the discussion.

Come share with us on this great topic and see you on the live chat!

Redefining Fresh

 
A guest post by author Michael Nolan

The aisle at the supermarket is marked with signs proclaiming their "Fresh Produce". In their case, fresh means tomatoes that were picked green and shipped in from Mexico after three days in the gas chamber with ethylene (C2H4) a colorless, flammable gas that just so happens to be a petroleum derivative.

The popular sub sandwich chain wants us to "Eat Fresh" with shredded iceberg lettuce that arrives at the store in sealed bags. How fresh can that be? I even went to a local "Farm Fresh" farm stand recently where they were selling fresh bananas. In Alabama. In April. Am I the only one around here who knows that we can't grow bananas in Alabama?

The time has come to redefine "fresh". To understand that the term is being abused and bastardized beyond recognition is a good starting point but the only real way to ensure that you and your family are getting real fresh food is to grow it yourself or to personally know the people who are. Growing your own food isn't nearly the all-encompassing time hog that some would have you believe, nor does it have to break the bank though I will admit to spending far more on gardening over the years than I ever should have.

Putting an end to food scares

Ever notice that E. coli thing that pops up periodically? You can't buy onions. Or spinach. Tomatoes, peppers, you name it. In more than 30 years of growing my own food I have yet to experience E. coli or other diseases in my fresh food. I have never heard of someone who grows their own fresh produce dealing with it either.

If you've ever griped over the fact that you just can't buy a decent tomato anymore then you are a perfect candidate for growing your own. It isn't complicated, doesn't take much time or effort and you can even do it if all you have to work with is a couple of square feet on a balcony. What's more, the tomatoes you grow yourself will not be the mealy, flavorless lumps of nothing that you'd be wasting your hard earned cash for in the supermarket.

Start small, with just a couple of plants that you know you enjoy. Tomatoes are a popular starter (and the most popular garden plant grown in the US), but you could even start with a container of herbs or colorful salad greens that will produce over and over throughout the season.

When it comes to fresh food, start taking responsibility for you and your family and stop taking their word for it. Their job is to sell you what they have. Your job is to stop buying the lies.

Michael Nolan, The Garden Rockstar is an author, blogger and speaker on gardening, sustainability, food ethics and homesteading. He is currently in the process of writing a new guest post on a different site for each day in May. To follow his progress, visit MyEarthGarden.com.
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Setting New Trends in Gardening

 
Summer is in full bloom here in zone 8B, Corona, CA. And with a heat index of 110 to 115, during the day, it makes it next to impossible to spend any time outside in the garden. Which is why I tend to be out in the garden after dark these days when it's somewhat cooler. Armed with a flash light, I've been know to be out weeding at midnight!

On a recent late night garden visit, I placed the flashlight on the ground and noticed how it illuminated my pepper plants and the shadow it cast on the fence. It was really beautiful and stared me thinking, I should pick up some of those solar outdoor lights to illuminate all the plants and make it an evening oasis where I can sit and enjoy my garden at night.

moon gardeningIronically, after coming up with that revelation, I ran across an article about moon gardening and how it's gaining in popularity in the bedroom communities for folks who are in the office all day, have a long commute home and rarely see their garden during the light of day. Leaving little time to do gardening, let alone enjoy it. Moon gardening takes advantage of plants that reflect the moon's light or flowers at night making it a relaxing spot to unwind after a long day.

What I find most interesting about this trend in gardening, is how we are constantly creating new ways to enjoy our passion despite what life throws at us. Moon gardening has evolved for those of us working longer hours. Container and roof top gardening is a growing trend among those of us with limited space to grow our own food or add a spot of color and beauty to an otherwise un-growable space.

It's refreshing to see these emerging trends in gardening develop with enthusiasts finding new ways to enjoy and express their passions that fit their lifestyle. I have no doubt there are trend-setters out there paving the way for new and creative ways to garden. So what trends are you setting? In what ways has your lifestyle defined how you garden?
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