Avant Gardener – 080513

Hosts Derek and Carolyn explain how their difficulties putting up a gazebo on their 20-acre property following a letter from the local township stating that they were in violation of a local ordinance that requires a permit for a gazebo. Derek explains that after speaking to the zoning officer he noted two problems: 1- the fact that the gazebo was inside a set-back area and required a variance to keep it where it was, and 2- the local Tinicum Conservancy would need to approve it since it was located inside a conservation area. Derek explains how he navigated the various levels of approval needed to keep the gazebo, only to be told in the end that it would have to be taken down. Derek reads more news items from the full color on-line Avant Gardener newsletter including a report that an aspirin will help ailing house plants, and how to tell the difference between two species of plants known as ‘naked ladies’ – one that is hardy and the other that is not. The Fells engage in a discussion about bamboo and the fact that some townships are banning it as ‘invasive’, a position the Fells do not agree with. The Fells also discuss a decision by the British government to ban peat because it is not a renewable resource, and he recommends a very good substitute that is renewable – coco coir (pronounced cwAR) – made from the fibrous husks of coconuts. Listeners are reminded that a free issue of the Avant Gardener newsletter can be viewed on-line at avantgardener.info. Among the emails answered is from a lady wanting information about growing watercress, how to avoid carrots with crooked roots, and how to avoid mildew affecting the flowering performance of zinnias..