A Palm Coast couple have the October 2020 Garden of the Month.

Submitted by Nancy Iandoli, Special to the News-Tribune
 |  The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Mavilde and Manuel Gomes of Elliot Place have been recognized as October 2020 Garden Yard Selection of the Month by The Garden Club at Palm Coast.

The couple moved from Connecticut to Palm Coast in 2004 when they retired.

On both sides of their driveway they have a stone area with newly planted orange bird of paradise, a tractor seat plant (Ligularia reniformis), and several colorful crotons, where Mavilde likes to plant two varieties together to add color and texture. Their front door garden area is neatly planted with pink curcuma ginger lilies, amaryllis, ponytail palms, two poinsettias, a plumeria, orange and white bird of paradise, pink caladium, hanging baskets with succulent varieties and two spectacular single-stemmed pom-pom-shaped yucca plants beaked with a stunning spray of bluish-green thin blades that are 2 feet long. Centered in the middle is a tranquil egg-shaped green water fountain that complements this front yard.

There are several varieties of fruit trees throughout the landscape: oranges, tangerines, lemons, bananas, guava, papaya, nespera loquat, fig and olive trees.

The backyard faces a golf course and a fishing pond so they have planted a hedge of Queen palms, bottlebrush, Phoenix roebelenii, river birch tree, fan palms, oleanders, crape myrtles, Schefflera arboricola, several crotons and bird of paradise. On the left side yard are three large staghorn ferns and a starfish cactus (Stapelia gigantea).

Mavilde is known to have a green thumb as she has much success with anything she plants. Her friends and neighbors bring over their sad plants and she always brings them back to life.

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Interior Employees Raise Concerns After Department Celebrates ‘European Heritage Month’

The Interior Department celebrated European Heritage Month in August, an unusual move that has caused some employees to feel uneasy. 

Interior published an online monthly magazine as part of that celebration, which highlighted the history and accomplishments of various European cultures in the United States. While the same publication put out previous issues that focused on other groups such as LGBTQ and Asian Americans, the publication caused a stir among some employees who saw the celebration as insensitive and improperly promoting ideals related to white pride.

Employees at Interior said they could not recall Interior ever recognizing European Heritage Month previously, with one saying the department “made up their own commemorative month.” The publication was put together by the head of “special emphasis programs” at the Interior Business Center, though the magazine is labeled as a publication of Interior’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administrative Services. A division of Interior’s Office of Civil Rights, the department’s special emphasis programs website lists nearly a dozen events and groups as part of its observance policy and European heritage is not one of them. There does not appear to be any national recognition of August as European Heritage Month. 

Some Interior workers who were aware of the publication became annoyed and angry about it, one employee said. The message appeared to promote a “white lives matter” ideology, said the individual, who requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation, and was especially troubling “during a time of civil awakening.” 

Steve Carlisle, the editor of the magazine, told Government Executive he had no intention of making a political statement and did not want to “insult anybody or hurt anybody.” He said he and his colleagues gave “a lot of consideration” to the potential blowback of publishing the issue, but ultimately decided it was important to “make content relevant to everyone” and saw it as a way to “celebrate immigration.” Carlisle came up with the idea for the magazine during the novel coronavirus pandemic, as Interior employees could no longer gather in person to celebrate various cultures each month. 

“Taken as a whole,” he said of the project, “it is really about including as many groups and backgrounds of people as we possibly can.” 

The issue highlights the history of many Europeans arriving to the United States through Ellis Island and goes on to highlight specific experiences of Welsh, Irish and German Americans, including some first-person narratives of Interior employees who vacationed in their ancestral homelands. It also included references to National Parks with “European connections.” The Interior employee took issue with a blurb on the large number of Native Americans in Florida at the time of European contact, suggesting it only served to highlight that those populations have been almost entirely wiped out. 

Another Interior employee said the entire issue of the magazine was “tone deaf.” 

The Southern Poverty Law Center has flagged various organizations that celebrate European heritage as associated with white nationalism. Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, R-Va., once sparked a brief

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Lessons From Listings Photos: How This House Sold in a Month During a Pandemic

It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

There is no perfect time to sell a house—anyone who’s ever put a property on the market will tell you that. Sure, tradition tells us that selling in spring might be ideal. But at the end of summer? During a pandemic?

These extra obstacles didn’t stop the owners of a cute family home in Houston from putting up a “For Sale” sign. Perhaps their confidence came from knowing they’d made home improvements that would appeal to buyers. Regardless of their motivation, this sale was a success: The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home went on the market in August 2020, and was sold just one month later.

So what interior and exterior enhancements did the owners do to make sure their home sold in a hurry? We went to real estate and design experts to discuss the changes made to this house—and how you can pull off a similar transformation in your own space.

Front exterior

The front of the house looks dramatically better after just a few simple changes, supplying a first impression that buyers won’t forget.

“Curb appeal sells homes,” says real estate broker Bruno Fernandez, of Imagine Reality. “By simply upgrading the landscape, adding a luxurious accent door, and a fresh coat of paint that allows the original brick to pop, this home went from ordinary to eye-catching.”

Interior designer Lanna Ali-Hassan, co-owner of Beyond the Box Interiors, explains further. “The exterior of your home will either make or break whether a potential home buyer even steps foot through the front door,” she says. “The aesthetic of your home’s exterior should tell the story of what is occurring inside—and it’s your goal to get potential buyers to the next chapter.”

Ali-Hassan says that’s exactly what they’ve done here, by making the exterior of the home look clean, bright, and welcoming.

Living room

There was nothing exactly wrong with the living room before, other than the fact that it felt a little cramped. But that’s a major negative for buyers and can drive them away.

“If your living room is on the smaller side, the goal is to make it appear larger by tricking the eye,” says Ali-Hassan. That was easily accomplished in this space by using a few basic tricks, such as “incorporating lighter-colored furniture and neutral bright walls, accentuating the vertical by placing your window treatments up higher, and installing either a decorative light or ceiling fan.”

“The change is night and day,” adds New York City real estate agent Judy Liebman. “Dark furniture, drapes, floors, and accessories are replaced with more modern and light pieces.  The addition of blinds allows

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Mews House With Fireplaces, Garden on Cobble Hill’s Verandah Place Asks $10,500 a Month

Verandah Place must be one of the most photographed little streets of Cobble Hill, and the 19th century brick homes that line it are a huge part of its charm, along with its position overlooking Cobble Hill Park. One of those little houses, No. 6, is up for rent. While the total monthly nut is not exactly modest (though there is some room for negotiation, we hear), it does include four floors of living space.

Not all of the houses on this scenic stretch in the Cobble Hill Historic District were built as stables; some were originally single-family homes, as is the case here. This particular pre-Civil War house belongs to journalist Cara Greenberg, who pens Brownstoner’s Insider column.

Save this listing on Brownstoner Real Estate to get price, availability and open house updates as they happen >>

In addition to the 19th century features, such as marble mantels and two wood-burning fireplaces, there are some nice design touches in the kitchen and baths, as befits an interior-design writer.

The house is set up with living room and study on the parlor level; kitchen, dining, full bath with washer/dryer and bedroom above; and three more bedrooms and another full bath on the top floor. The garden level has a third full bath and two rooms that could be used as work space or more bedrooms as needed.

The kitchen has custom maple cabinets, granite counters, an apron-front sink and bright green tile backsplash. The one bath pictured is on the skylit top floor, and it has green mosaic tile work and white fixtures.

There’s also some outdoor space: A stone-paved rear garden includes planting beds and room for outdoor dining.

Listed by Zoe N Saaf, Cara Sadownick and Cheryl Nielsen-Saaf of Corcoran, the house is renting for $10,500 a month. What do you think?

[Listing: 6 Verandah Place | Broker: Corcoran] GMAP

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What to expect when Soho Garden reopens this month

a vase of flowers on a table: soho feat

© Motivate Publishing
soho feat

Get ready for a brand new look from the mega-venue…

The long-awaited return of one of Dubai’s most popular nightlife venues will be happening on Wednesday September 30. Soho Garden has announced it will reopen to the public with a ‘new look’ and four exciting events throughout the week. Details on the new appearance are yet to be revealed.

Kicking off on Wednesday is the ladies’ night, Soho Social. Girls can get a specially designed brunch menu for Dhs99 with food and drinks, while guys can enjoy the same for Dhs250 between 8pm and 11pm. Reservations are required, so be sure to call ahead before you turn up.

On Thursdays its time for ‘The Soho Garden Experience’ with resident DJs Mar+Mer, Jean B, Adam Graca & Alfie providing a lounge vibe from 8pm. Guests can choose between the international a la carte menu or a brunch package for Dhs250 from 8pm.

Discover your new Friday night hangout spot with ‘Fridays at Soho’. The venue will be filled with a soundtrack from Jixo & Danz as well as Soho’s resident DJs so you can expect good vibes all through the night.

Finally, if you love old school R&B, Saturday nights are the time you’ll want to head to Soho Garden. From 8pm, girls can enjoy a ladies’ night menu for Dhs99 or all guests can choose the full brunch package for Dhs250. Adam Graca will be providing the tunes from throughout the decades.

The venue will be open daily from 8pm to 4am, and have all the social distancing measures in place. Spaces will be limited and bookings are strongly advised throughout the week to avoid disappointment.

Recently, a few of Dubai’s favourite nightlife spots have reopened as lounge-style restaurants, including 1Oak, Toy Room and Secret Room.

Soho Garden, Meydan Racecourse Grandstand, Nad Al Sheba, open daily from Sept 30, 8pm to 4am, bookings required. Tel: (052) 388 8849. sohogardendxb.com

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LSU Garden News: Go for the pinks in plants for breast cancer awareness month | Home/Garden

October is all about pink in support of breast cancer awareness. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer. Men also can get it.

What does this have to do with gardening and why are we talking about it in September? Our landscapes are an extension of our homes and a statement to those around us.

Why not honor breast cancer patients and survivors by going pink in your flower beds and getting a head start this month? That way you can show your support and bring awareness to this devastating disease.

Luckily, when it comes to pink, we have many options from which to choose, including plants with pink foliage. Many Louisiana Super Plant selections come in shades of pink.

If you don’t want to make a long-term commitment, place plants in small containers or try planting annuals that can be changed out as the seasons turn. 

Both Amazon and Jolt dianthus are excellent Louisiana Super Plant selections for fall that come in an array of pinks. Amazon comes in Amazon Rose Magic and Amazon Neon Cherry, and Jolt comes in Cherry, Pink and Pink Magic. Ranging from delicate pink to hot pink, both can make quite a statement.

These plants have dark green foliage, perform best in full to part sun and are great for attracting butterflies in late fall and early spring. They make great cut flowers that you can share with friends or family members fighting the disease and to help celebrate survivors.

Do you want to go all-in and show your support? Make a big impact with another Louisiana Super Plant, the bright, prolific Supertunia Vista Bubblegum. This mighty petunia is known for its long-lasting bloom season. It spreads, growing up to 3 feet in all directions, with a height of 16 to 24 inches. It prefers full sun to produce the maximum amount of flowers.

If you want something more permanent, try shrubs. Three fall-blooming Louisiana Super Plants with pink flowers are Conversation Piece azalea, Aphrodite althea (rose of Sharon) and Luna hibiscus. All three make excellent shrubs for sunny areas in the lawn and will bloom in the fall, year after year.

Dream roses and Belinda’s Dream roses are both Louisiana Super Plant selections that produce pink blooms in the fall. Belinda’s Dream is another superb cut flower to share with family and friends.

Penny Mac hydrangea is also a Louisiana Super Plant. It’s a repeat-blooming hydrangea that can produce large flower clusters of pink or blue beginning in late spring and continuing to bloom on new growth into the summer and fall. To influence flower color, treat the soil around the bushes with lime and superphosphate in March and again in October each year. Your soil should be a pH of 7-8.5 to achieve the pink color. It may take years for the shift to pink to occur if your plant typically blooms blue.

Many warm-season flowers planted in late spring

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After a month of bad news, White House officials hype Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination

“This is a big deal and it’s well-deserved,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday. “You cannot deny what has happened on President Trump’s watch.”

White House economic advisers Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro even used the news to sidestep questions on other issues.

“One of the things I’d like to do before we get started though, is I’d really like to congratulate President Trump on being nominated for the peace price, the Nobel Peace Prize,” Navarro said Sunday after briefly discussing the Trump administration’s coronavirus response.

That White House officials touted the nomination is not surprising, especially given that much of Trump’s campaign rhetoric has failed to resonate with voters. But the context of the nomination is equally significant.

Trump was nominated by the same far-right Norwegian politician who nominated him in 2018, and the Nobel Committee accepts all nominations from politicians serving at a national level. In years past, this has meant former presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson have been nominated for (and won) the prize, but has also led to peace prize nominations for Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

On Sunday, Trump referenced his nomination:

“They nominated your president twice last week on two different subjects for a Nobel Prize, but the fake news media didn’t cover it,” Trump told rallygoers in Nevada.

This was the same Trump who more than six years before asked the Nobel Committee to retract the peace prize awarded to his predecessor, Barack Obama.

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House returns with 1 month to strike new COVID-19 stimulus deal with Senate

Mannequins with face masks and designer clothing fill a window at a Diane Von Furstenberg store in New York City on September 8, 2020. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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My month in the garden: what to do with autumn squash, setting up a garden party and autumn tips

This keeps the flames active and the flames showing and burning well without smothering the fire with fresh wood. Always light it around half an hour before your first arrivals. Kadai does a blow poker, which helps fan the flames and stop the smoke. If you have an exposed garden, maybe opt for a chiminea instead. I got Philip, a local metal worker who runs Manor Welding to make me one, as good-looking examples are in short supply.

For cover, a simple shelter can be made using posts on the corners, which could be stone, metal or timber with basic timer/ metal beams for the frame for the roof. We then sometimes put a sandwich of heather panels top and bottom with corrugated plastic in the middle, all laid to a slight fall.

This rather “Heath Robinson” approach looks quite acceptable and is not expensive. One such structure has survived well for more than 20 years with only the top heather layer being replaced. At home, we have a white waterproof fabric awning (by TedGem), but when the wind gets going it can generate quite a force, so the structure needs to be able to withstand this.

There is tremendous scope for decorating your garden. For this time of year, we often use chili plants hung with fruit, and big vases of brash magenta dahlias, scarlet amaranthus and lime gladioli. I wrap the plastic plant pots with hessian, or go to the other extreme and apply transfer gold leaf to form some amazing centrepieces.

This is pretty simple to use and, as gold leaf is real gold, it stays stunningly shiny forever. Available from Cornelissen.

Outdoor lighting by lanterns is my favourite. Kadai’s Arabian lanterns are 50cm high and fabulous. Fairy lights or rope lights hung on a string are inexpensive and great to play around with: over pergolas, on buildings and archways they can be used to highlight and add atmosphere.

All that remains is food. Many of the NGS gardens are famous for their fabulous cakes and teas – I am afraid I ran out of time, having spent too long in the garden and not long enough in the kitchen. But a friend who works for Fiona Cairns came to the rescue and turned up with the best spread of beautiful and delicious cakes I have ever seen. Our table has never heaved so much before. You can see the spread on my YouTube video Garden Party Time.

Mundane maintenance 

Many gardeners have found this year’s growth overwhelming, no doubt caused by the exceptionally early growing season and the intermittent deluges. Mowing and hedge-cutting are often the big issues. Robotic mowers, meadows, sheep and flails for hedges have helped me massively this year!

Watch Bunny’s latest YouTube videos:

How to Party in the Garden All Year Round

How I kill Perennial Weeds – Forever

Time-Saving Gardening Hacks

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White House and Congress reach informal deal to avert a government shutdown at end of month

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration have come to an informal deal to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month when the federal government is set to run out of funding, two congressional sources said Thursday.

Donald Trump mocks the way Biden wears his mask



Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came to the agreement Tuesday during a phone call about the two sides’ stalled efforts to pass another COVID-19 relief package, a source familiar with the call said. The deal would extend government funding at the same levels they are currently operating at and will likely allow both sides of the aisle to avoid a high-stakes series of negotiations before voters cast their ballots in November. 

a person wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., wears a face mask as she arrives to speak at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, June 26, 2020.

© Carolyn Kaster, AP
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., wears a face mask as she arrives to speak at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, June 26, 2020.

Full details about the agreement were not available but staff-level talks are set to begin soon, the two congressional sources said, adding that no decisions have been set in stone on how long the bill would last. 

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Marijuana vote: House will vote on federal marijuana legalization for the first time, bill’s future in Senate uncertain

While discussions have picked back up between Democrats and the administration on another stimulus relief package to help Americans and businesses weathering the coronavirus pandemic, it’s unclear whether any stimulus relief might be added to the government spending bill. Pelosi and Mnuchin did not explicitly discuss the option and did not rule it out, one source familiar with their conversation said. 

The agreement may ease worries about another government shutdown. But it doesn’t solve the issue of how to offer relief to Americans suffering the economic fallout. The two sides remain divided over what they want in a new round of coronavirus relief.

Pelosi, Mnuchin, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows negotiated for weeks trying to reconcile the Democrats’ roughly $3.4 trillion plan with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s $1.1 trillion package. Both proposals included $1,200 direct payments for struggling Americans, billions for schools trying to reopen and money for businesses trying to stay afloat. 

The inaction prompted Trump to sign four executive orders to continue some aspects of earlier stimulus bills, but they did not address all the relief sought in talks. After he signed the orders, the two sides continued to blame the other side for the impasse as Congress left for a month-long recess. 

The Senate returns from its recess next week, potentially the last opportunity for Congress to act on coronavirus legislation while also juggling must-pass bills to keep the government funded. Senate Republicans have said they hope to vote on a smaller COVID-19 bill next week, though the legislation is likely to face opposition from

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