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Flower show July 19-20 in St. Petersburg by artists in clay

FLOWER SHOW ThIS WEEKEND BY ARTISTS IN CLAY

Artists at St. Petersburg Clay Company are holding their annual flower and garden show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday. On sale: planters, vases, and bonsai, orchid and ikebana pots. Local florists have paired with artists, and their floral-and-clay creations are on sale at a silent auction for charity. The show is at the historic train station at Fifth Avenue S and 22nd Street, St. Petersburg.

Gardeners growing more vegetables

Sales of vegetable seeds are up 30 to 40 percent this season, double last year's growth rate, says George Ball, president of W. Atlee Burpee & Co., the big seed company in Warminster, Pa. A big factor, he said, probably is the number of retiring baby boomers entering "their prime gardening years." He also points to high gasoline prices that keep people at home, expensive food, economic uncertainty and fears about food safety. But his best reason to grow vegetables? "The taste is incomparable. You can't buy it."

A natural touch comes to Versailles

What most worries the chief gardener of Versailles? Alain Baraton says his recurring nightmare is that the planting of 50,000 flowers he oversees each year "won't be beautiful." If it isn't, "you realize it only after the flowers start blooming," he told the Washington Post. Baraton is turning to biogardening at Versailles. He lets birds control pests, grows native plants and cultivates a variety of species to avoid major losses in case of disease.

Cool tree makes for a cool breeze

What makes a cool breeze cool? Thank a tree. The Web site floridagardener.com offers this explanation: The leaves of trees absorb very little heat. They feel cool to the touch, so a breeze passing through the foliage of a tree is cooled. Research done by the University of California shows that the temperature of bare ground, ranging from 136 to 152 degrees, dropped an average of 36 degrees in five minutes after the passage of the "shadow line." A breeze passing through a shadow or the leaves of a tree can be cooled substantially.

Summer, in the garden and inside

Interior designers offer this gardening tip in the August issue of House Beautiful: Plant fragrant herbs and flowers near your door or in window boxes so you'll get a constant drift of fresh scent. They also recommend lots of cut flowers inside.

Compiled by Times Homes and Garden Editor Judy Stark

Flower show July 19-20 in St. Petersburg by artists in clay 07/18/08 [Last modified: Friday, July 18, 2008 4:31am]

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