Springfield Garden Club readies for remote program

Springfield Garden Club Horticulture Education Chairman and Master Gardener Janet Dolder is passionate about native plants.

“It is not unusual for gardeners and landscapers to label any plant that wasn’t intentionally planted as a weed that needs to be eradicated,” she said. “There are so many beautiful native shrubs, trees, perennials and groundcovers that will easily adapt to growing in our backyards. It only takes a little research and a presentation or two with an expert … to get started.”

The garden club’s October program, “Why We Care About Native Plants” is just such a presentation. Featuring Dan Jaffe, it will take place Friday, Oct. 16, at noon via Zoom.

Jaffe is a well-known horticulturist, propagator and landscape designer. He earned a degree in botany from the University of Maine and an advanced certificate in Native Plant Horticulture and Design from the New England Wild Flower Society. He is currently the staff photographer, horticulturalist and propagator for Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary in Monson.

During the Zoom meeting, he will discuss how to select and combine the right species for specific site conditions and how this community-oriented approach can be applied to plantings of all sizes. Participants will learn how to create healthy, resilient plant communities that are beautiful and ecologically vibrant.

Questions for Jaffe, co-author of “Native Plants for New England Gardens” — which features his photographs — will be accepted through the chat function of Zoom and will be answered in real time.

“It’s time to reestablish native plants in the urban landscape before it’s too late,” Dolder said. “As more space is developed, the ground becomes covered with concrete, lawns and exotic, hybridized shrubs and perennials, starving native vegetation of its natural habitat. In turn, insects that have evolved alongside those plants and adapted their diets to the native plants’ pollen and nectar also starve, and the birds who counted on those insects to feed their young are becoming extinct.”

Most of the plant materials garden club members use in their arrangements are found in their yards and gardens, so there are natives included. “While you could make an arrangement from all natives, we generally use a mix for variety,” said Mary E. Bandouveres, garden club publicity chairman. “Using natives in arrangements is a fun benefit of growing them. You can beautify as well as benefit the environment. In addition, as this is their ‘native’ land, native plants can be easier to grow than some imported ones.”

She particularly likes using milkweed in her arrangements. “It’s not the most flamboyant plant, but it is the only food a monarch caterpillar can eat. So, the survival of the monarchs is dependent on the availability of milkweed plants. And they are easy to grow,” she said.

For Dolder, the vibrant colors from native maples and oaks, with a groundcover of goldenrod, wild aster and native ferns, are a reminder that “fall in New England is one of the most beautiful places on earth.”

Current Springfield Garden Club members will receive information

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Broadband, home office, garden: House buyers quit cities for home towns as remote working trend continuesworkig

House hunters are returning to their native counties as they turn their backs on city living and take advantage of remote working.

ew housing data show prices in the country’s regional towns have risen by almost 1pc in 12 weeks to €163,345, compared to less than 0.5pc experienced in bigger population centres. The average time to sell a property has fallen 30pc.

The trend confirms a change in buyer priorities for home-buying as the Covid pandemic has demonstrated that working from home is a viable option for tens of thousands of people.

The Irish Independent/ Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average House Price Index also shows that, nationwide, property prices continue to hold up.

The sale value of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country has risen slightly – up by 0.6pc on average over the past three months to €236,046, a rise of 0.4pc compared to a year ago.

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A nationwide rush to buy has caused the average time taken to sell a property to tumble from 10 weeks in June to seven in September.

Buyers are expressly asking for homes based on broadband coverage, home office potential, and garden space rather than factors such as commuter-friendliness and transport links, which have previously dominated.

“Maybe one in five purchases is from people cashing in on their sales in Dublin and moving to larger houses down the country. People are making life-changing decisions to be based down the country,” said Harry Sothern, of REA Sothern in Carlow.

In a busy last period, REA Dawson in Tullow also reports selling a number of houses to clients who are now planning to work from home.

“It is clear that broadband is absolutely key for buyers and good amenities and space have become more important than transport links and commuting time,” said REA spokesperson Barry McDonald.

In Leitrim, property is now selling within five weeks of coming on the market.

REA agent Joe Brady is seeing clients buy in Leitrim with the intention of spending a maximum two days a week working in Dublin, a two-hour train journey away.

Properties with home office potential are being snapped up around the country, with REA Seamus Carthy in Roscommon having 43 potential buyers on a waiting list for homes with garden space priced between €350,000 and €500,000.

“All of the buyers are families who are either moving home or have decided to move out of bigger urban locations in search of more space and a better quality of life,” he said.

“We have also seen a resurgence in demand in coastal areas such as west Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Donegal as ­people realise that holiday homes can be more permanent.”

Meanwhile estate agents in the big cities and regions alike are reporting both a rush to buy and a reluctance to sell that is causing concern over market distortion.

In the cities, buyers are also anxious to conclude deals, but for different reasons.

Read more

Broadband, home office, garden: House buyers quit cities for home towns as remote working trend continues

House hunters are returning to their native counties as they turn their backs on city living and take advantage of remote working.

ew housing data show prices in the country’s regional towns have risen by almost 1pc in 12 weeks to €163,345, compared to less than 0.5pc experienced in bigger population centres. The average time to sell a property has fallen 30pc.

The trend confirms a change in buyer priorities for home-buying as the Covid pandemic has demonstrated that working from home is a viable option for tens of thousands of people.

The Irish Independent/ Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average House Price Index also shows that, nationwide, property prices continue to hold up.

The sale value of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country has risen slightly – up by 0.6pc on average over the past three months to €236,046, a rise of 0.4pc compared to a year ago.

Close

Click to view full size image


Click to view full size image

Click to view full size image

A nationwide rush to buy has caused the average time taken to sell a property to tumble from 10 weeks in June to seven in September.

Buyers are expressly asking for homes based on broadband coverage, home office potential, and garden space rather than factors such as commuter-friendliness and transport links, which have previously dominated.

“Maybe one in five purchases is from people cashing in on their sales in Dublin and moving to larger houses down the country. People are making life-changing decisions to be based down the country,” said Harry Sothern, of REA Sothern in Carlow.

In a busy last period, REA Dawson in Tullow also reports selling a number of houses to clients who are now planning to work from home.

“It is clear that broadband is absolutely key for buyers and good amenities and space have become more important than transport links and commuting time,” said REA spokesperson Barry McDonald.

In Leitrim, property is now selling within five weeks of coming on the market.

REA agent Joe Brady is seeing clients buy in Leitrim with the intention of spending a maximum two days a week working in Dublin, a two-hour train journey away.

Properties with home office potential are being snapped up around the country, with REA Seamus Carthy in Roscommon having 43 potential buyers on a waiting list for homes with garden space priced between €350,000 and €500,000.

“All of the buyers are families who are either moving home or have decided to move out of bigger urban locations in search of more space and a better quality of life,” he said.

“We have also seen a resurgence in demand in coastal areas such as west Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Donegal as ­people realise that holiday homes can be more permanent.”

Meanwhile estate agents in the big cities and regions alike are reporting both a rush to buy and a reluctance to sell that is causing concern over market distortion.

In the cities, buyers are also anxious to conclude deals, but for different reasons.

Read more