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The Garden Mix




Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.

New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
Posts from February 2014


Garden Conservancy Open Days Private Garden Tour
Get your tickets now for a peek into some of the most amazing private gardens in America. This one-of-a-kind private garden tour provides a great opportunity to gather ideas, exchange gardening secrets, and get inspired.

Known as Open Days, this private garden tour was started in 1995 by the Garden Conservancy.
Gardens are located in 21 states including the District of Columbia. There are more than 300 gardens featured and each region offers its own special variety of gardens.
 
All you need is a little time and a ticket to participate in the self-guided garden tours. A listing of the Open Days gardens and dates for each garden will be listed in the Open Days Directory, posted on the Garden Conservancy’s website or you can call 1-888-842-2442.
 
A bit more information: This program was started by the Garden Conservancy to create awareness and help support their mission of preserving America’s gardens. For more information on Open Days and the Garden Conservancy visit https://www.gardenconservancy.org
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Attractive Year Round Screening
How many evergreens do I need to screen the view of my neighbor’s house? This is a common question raised by gardeners across the country.

And even though arborvitae, junipers, and other evergreens provide great year round screening, consider creating something with more variety and seasonal interest. 
 
Start by determining exactly what views need to be screened. Evaluate the views from inside your house looking out. Then move outdoors and try standing and sitting in areas you want to create some privacy. Then consider your neighbors’ view looking into your home and garden. Several smaller strategically placed gardens can provide the needed screening or privacy.
 
Consider using ornamental grasses, perennials, and flowering shrubs along with the upright evergreens. Mixed borders are more interesting and much easier to maintain if a plant or two dies.
 
A bit more information:  Consider annual and perennial vines on decorative trellises and artwork for narrow spaces. These can provide quick screening as a short-term or long-term solution.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Pine Needle Scale
White flecks on your mugo pine does not mean the house painter was careless. It’s more likely that your evergreen is infested with pine needle scale.

The white flecks you see are hard shells produced by the adult pine needle scale.
 
Timing is critical for successful control. Their hard shell protects the adults and overwintering eggs from predators, the environment and pesticides. Apply insecticidal soap, Neem, light weight horticulture oil or another eco-friendly insecticide labeled for controlling this pest when the immature shell-less scales are active. This coincides with the bloom time of vanhouette spirea, often called bridal wreath, or as the flower buds on common lilac begin to swell in the spring. Repeat when the Annabelle hydrangeas bloom in the summer.  As always read and follow label directions.
 
A bit more information: A healthy plant can tolerate small populations, but continued attacks by this insect can weaken and ruin the appearance of your pine. If you decide to treat, make two applications of an eco-friendly insecticide 7 to 10 days apart for both the spring and summer treatment. Or kill the overwintering eggs by applying lime sulphur in late winter when the plants are still dormant. Be careful as the lime sulfur can damage some plants and stain nearby surfaces.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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2014 Perennial Plant of the Year โ€“ Northwind Switchgrass
Make room in your landscape for Northwind Switchgrass the 2014 perennial plant of the year.
 
Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm selected this cultivar from seed he collected along railroad tracks in South Elgin, IL. He noticed the unique growth habit of one particular plant and began trialing, propagating and finally introducing Northwind Switchgrass in 1992.
 
It was the upright growth habit and wide steel blue leaves that caught his attention. The 5 feet tall switchgrass is a clump forming grass perfect as a screen, vertical accent or filler in mixed beds.
 
The plant is topped by fine-textured flowers that remind me of fireworks in late summer. The yellow flowers turn into beige seedheads and the plant has an attractive golden yellow fall color. This sturdy plant remains upright throughout the winter, providing great winter interest.
 
A bit more information: Northwind Switchgrass is hardy in zones 4 to 10. This fine textured beauty is a nice addition to natural, informal, and formal landscapes. It is seldom bothered by deer.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Apple Tree Fails to Produce
No fruit and all leaves is a common complaint of gardeners new to growing apples.  Fortunately, with a little time and adjustments in care you will soon be rewarded with fruit.

Patience is the first step. The first few years after planting, your apple tree spends its energy on developing a healthy root system. This is good for the longevity and productivity of the plant.
 
You will need to start pruning young trees to develop a strong and productive structure.  Consider using the central or modified central leader system. You will have a single trunk with several large branches spiraling up the trunk.
 
Train 5 to 7 main branches for dwarf trees and 7 to 9 for standard size apple trees. Dwarf trees should start blooming and be allowed to develop fruit about 4 or 5 years, while standard trees take a bit longer, 6 or 7 years, after planting.
 
A bit more information:  Avoid excess pruning and over fertilization that promotes leaf and stem growth and discourages flowering and fruiting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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A Perennial Valentine - Valentine Bleeding Heart
Looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone? Give a gift that brings joy and beauty year after year.

Bleeding Heart was originally brought to America as a Valentine’s Day gift. The new variety, Valentine, provides a twist on this long time favorite. The bright red flowers have white tips and dangle from deep red arching stems in late spring.
 
Keep the plants blooming into early summer with ample moisture and moderate temperatures. And don’t forget to cut a few flowers to enjoy indoors. These last for several weeks.
 
Give this plant room to grow. It forms a 24 to 36 inch mound. And don’t be surprised when the plant begins to fade in mid-summer. It’s normal and will return next spring. You may need to give your Valentine an IOU and deliver this present once the plants arrive at your favorite garden center.
 
A bit more information: The leaves on Valentine bleeding heart emerge with a tinge of purple and then turn green, providing a nice contrast to the blooms.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Abe Lincoln Heirloom Tomato
Add a little fun and history to this year’s vegetable garden and grow some Abe Lincoln tomatoes.
 
This heirloom tomato was introduced in Illinois back in 1923 by the Buckbee Seed Company. Abe Lincoln is an indeterminate type tomato, meaning it continues to grow throughout the season until frost kills the plant or a gardener prunes off the growing tip.
 
This slicing tomato can be found on plant recommendation lists of Universities across the country. Abe Lincoln tomatoes have good disease resistance and produce medium size bright red tomatoes with a rich slightly acid flavor.
 
You may need to start your own plants from seed or find a local grower or hobbyist that specializes in heirloom vegetables. Start these and other tomato seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the outdoor night temperatures are hovering at 50 to 55 degrees.
 
A bit more information: With proper care you will be harvesting Abe Lincoln tomatoes in less than 80 days. Speed up the process by keeping the plants warm on chilly days and nights. Cover plantings with floating row covers like ReeMay, frost blanket or garden fabric. Try cloches or wall-o-waters to cover individual plants.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Tree and Shrub Growth Rates
Now is a great time to plan for additions to your landscape. And as you scour the catalogues and read plant tags you will often see trees rated as fast, medium or slow growers.
 
These are average growth rates, but just like a plant’s mature size it can vary with local climate, growing conditions and the care you provide.  A slow growth rate means the plant usually grows 12 inches or less each year.  Medium growers add 13 to 24 inches each year, while fast growing trees grow 25 inches or more in one year. 
 
The American Conifer Society (ACS) has classified cone bearing plants by their size in any direction (height or spread) and growth rate.  They range from Miniature (M) conifers that grow less than 1 inch a year and reach less than 1 foot size at 10 years of age to large (L) conifers that grow more than 12 inches a year and are greater than 15 feet tall at ten years of age.
 
A bit more information: The other ACS growth rates and classifications include dwarf (D) conifers that grow more than 1 inch but less than 6 inches a year and reach sizes of 1 to 6 feet by 10 years of age.  Intermediate (I) conifers grow more than 6 and less than 12 inches a year and are more than 6 feet but less than 15 feet in size.  
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Birth Tree March 1 through 10 - Weeping Willow
The lovely and graceful weeping willow has long been a part of our landscapes. And, although it is the birth tree for those born between March 1st and 10th, think twice before planting this beauty in your backyard.
 
As birth trees go, the weeping willow represents beauty filled with a bit of melancholy. Individuals with this birth tree are also said to be tasteful, dreamers, restless and have good intuition.
 
Today the golden weeping willow is considered the standard and the one most of us know as weeping willow. This fast growing tree is hardy in zones 2 through 9, develops a stout trunk and is covered with long pendulous branches.  It is tolerant of moist to wet soils and is often found growing along ponds and streams.
 
This large tree is perfect for wet areas where other trees fail and where the leaf, stem and fluffy seedpod litter and aggressive roots are not a problem.
 
A bit more information: The golden weeping willow can grow 50 to 80 feet tall with a broad canopy. If your yard is too small or you don’t want the litter issue, visit this graceful beauty in a nearby park or natural setting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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2014 Hosta of the Year - Abiqua Drinking Gourd
Hostas are a favorite of many gardeners. All the new introductions allow you to create a fresh look with an old time favorite.  But with so many choices it is helpful to have a bit of direction.
 
The American Hosta Growers wanted to help take the guess work out of hosta shopping. Each year, starting in 1996, they select an outstanding hosta variety that makes a good garden plant throughout the country, is readily available, and retails for about $15 a plant.  This year’s winner is Abiqua Drinking Gourd.
 
The large blue-green leaves are cupped and have an interesting seer sucker texture. These attractive thick leaves have good slug resistance.
 
White flowers top the plants in early summer, brightening the shade and providing nectar for the hummingbirds. Plants are hardy in zones 3 to 9 and grow 18 to 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide.
 
A bit more information: Consider adding a few or all of the past winners to the shady parts of your landscape. Use them as a groundcover or in combination with ferns, bugbane and other shade tolerant perennials. Visit the American Hosta Growers Association website for a list of and information about past winners.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Poplar - Birth Tree Feb 4 to 8
Those with birthdays between February 4th and 8th have poplar as their birth tree. They’re said to be artistic, reliable partners, organized and know how to make life comfortable.

As a tree most poplars are fast growing and moisture loving. This group includes the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) best known for its leaves that flutter in the wind and turn a beautiful yellow in fall.
 
The cottonwood (Populus deltoides) is also a member of this family. It produces cottony seeds that cover the ground like snow in the summer. As a result many municipalities have banned this tree.
 
The Lombardy poplar was brought to North America with the colonists. This fast growing upright poplar was used for hedging and screening. Unfortunately, a deadly canker disease has limited its use.
 
So choose your poplar tree wisely or purchase your early February birthday friend an item made from poplar wood.
 
A bit more information: The quaking aspen is the most widely distributed tree in North America. The National Champion is located in Coronado National Forest in AZ. It was 130 feet tall and 36 feet wide when last measured.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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February Birth Flowers โ€“ Violet and Iris
If you were born in February you have two birth flowers, the violet and the iris.
 
Both are perfect flowers for this month filled with messages of love for Valentine’s Day. The violet is a symbol of love and fertility while the iris shares its name with the messenger of the Gods and Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris.  And an appropriate name as the iris comes in a wide array of colors.
 
Most violets thrive in shade and moist soil. There are many varieties with purple, blue, white, cream, yellow or a combination of colored flowers. Select carefully as some are vigorous, escape the garden where planted and become a weed. 
 
Most iris prefer full sun and moist well-drained soils. Sizes vary from the short 4 inch crested iris to the 4 foot tall bearded iris. The Japanese iris requires abundant moisture during the growing season while the bearded iris must have adequate drainage.
 
A bit more information: Try growing crested iris (Iris cristata) as a seasonal groundcover. It is hardy in zones 3 to 9, grows 4 to 6 inches tall, and performs well in partial shade with well-drained soil.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Bieber's Roast Airs
It seems like the roast that would never end, but the Comedy Central roast of Justin Bieber finally aired last night. The folks at ABC News provide a two-minute summary on this morning's "The Skinny." Check it out for a clean breakdown of the show. If you believe the clips, it looks like the Biebs had some of the best lines of the night.  
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Meet the New Daily Show Host
Comedy Central announced yesterday the replacement for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Just as everyone expected, the new host is... Trevor Noah? Um, sorry, who? Trevor's relatively new to The Daily Show. Heck, he's relatively new to the US, having arrived at both spots back in December - four months ago - from his native South Africa. In fact, back then, he made his debut appearance on The Daily Show as a correspondent. Now, suddenly, he's the new host. As others scramble to find out more about him, why not just sit back and watch that debut..  
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Oh No He Didn't...
Justin Bieber took the stage as a back-up singer with Ariana Grande in Miami over the weekend. His job: help her with "Love Me Harder." And he couldn't do it. He flubbed the lines, then gave up and started dancing on stage and greeting fans to cover for his failed memory. He apologized repeatedly to Ariana on stage.. And he did so on Instagram afterwards as well. Accepted or not, I'll bet it's the last time he's invited to be Ariana's back-up...     Had fun with u Ariana, even tho I forgot all the words haha A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on Mar 28, 2015 at 8:46pm PDT
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The Beginning of The New World
Jay Z enlisted some top-level friends to help him announce his new streaming music service, Tidal. Beyonce was there, of course, and Kanye. But so was Madonna, and Nicki Minaj, and Jason Aldean, and Chris Martin, and more. Dozens of artists, in the room and on-line, to hear about and lend support to Jay Z's game changing idea. His plan is to get consumers to pay for music they're used to streaming for free. You laugh, but it worked for Netflix. The man could really be on to something big here...  
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Sound of Music... Peter Pan... The Wiz?
NBC announced plans to produce another live musical right around Thanksgiving. Two years ago, it was Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood. Last year, it was Peter Pan starring Alison Williams. This year, it's The Wiz. Right. The Wiz. The urban twist on the classic Wizard of Oz. Debuted on Broadway in the mid-70s, Turned into a movie in 1978, starring Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, and Richard Pryor as the Wiz. Not exactly a classic. But, it will be the third installment in NBC's franchise - for lack of a better term. Already, suggestions are being made for the casting. Beyonce as Glinda. Pharrell as the Tin Man. Not seeing Kanye mentioned anywhere - but he'll trying to pick up an Emmy for it anyway... Meanwhile, here's a sampling of the King of Pope as the Scarecrow.  
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Something Old Really Works
Here's a head-scratcher: some scientists in England have found a way to kill the hospital superbug known as MRSA. Great news, you say. How did they do it? Simple. They cooked up a compound from a recipe found in a book about 1000 years old. The book is called Bald's Leecbook, and the treatment is for styes. Take cropleek and garlic, of both equal quantities, pound them well together… take wine and bullocks gall, mix with the leek… let it stand nine days in the brass vessel… The scientists followed the directions and when they tested it, found that it had a 90% success rate in killing the bacteria generally blamed for MRSA. This could turn into something. Up next: applying Game of Thrones strategies to current warfare. Step 1: get a dragon...  
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Deer Season is Open
The folks at Disney have been busy turning cartoon characters into live-action characters. We've had Maleficent, and most recently, Cinderella. So why not take the same approach with Bambi? Great idea, and played up perfectly by the folks at Saturday Night Live with a little help - okay, a lot of help - from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnston. Check it out!  
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And This is Why I Don't Go on Rollercoasters...
Opening day for the Coney Island Cyclone, one of the world's most historic wooden rollercoasters, didn't go so well for the first riders of the season. At the top of its first hill, just before the first drop, the coaster stopped dead in its tracks. Riders were stranded, and had to be walked down by emergency personnel. Like rollercoasters aren't already scary enough, now this happens? But what do you want to bet that most of them will climb back aboard as soon as the ride's running again?  
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Wait a Minute, What?
Furious 7 - the seventh installment in the Fast & Furious franchise - is set to open up in theaters in a couple of weeks. The hype for it has been huge. Naturally, everyone thinks the "7" in the title refers to it being the "seventh" film. Right? Wrong. According to the director, James Wan, says he wanted to actually spell out the "seven" in the title, as an homage to Seven Samurai. It's about seven warriors, I guess, and not about counting how many films there've been. Who knew?  
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Behind the Times?
President Obama sat down last week to talk with David Simon, the creator of The Wire, the critically-acclaimed TV show. The idea was to discuss what Simon observed about crime in the inner city that drove him to create the show. The guy's a former cop, so it's probably a valuable chat. But those observations are over a dozen years old. The Wire ran between 2002 and 2008. Relevant? Or just an opportunity for the First Fan to talk to the guy who created one of his favorite shows? What do you think?  
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Unintentional Photo Bomb
Kim Kardashian must have been having an off day. There was a camera pointed her way, and she didn't manage to strike a pose. Instead, it sort of looks like she's picking her toes Or perhaps grabbing for her pocketbook. Kanye, on the other side, looks so very Kanye-ish. And ironically, he's the one showing sideboob in this picture, not his wife. Go figure...     Lunch with Lilou at Nobu!! #Lilou #NobuSundays #greatcompany #Carolin #papaB @casiebamford @malibubuffy @anneysenring @jasoncampbellmalibu A photo posted by alibambam (@alibambam) on Mar 22, 2015 at 4:48pm PDT
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Arnold's Human Side
Arnold Schwarzenegger has a new movie coming out called Maggie. It's a zombie flick, but more than that. The advance buzz on it is pretty good, and no one seems happier about it than Arnold himself. Check out the post to his Facebook page late last week... (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); I'm really proud of my new film, Maggie. This is the most human zombie film you’ve ever seen, and it’s the most human... Posted by Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday, March 25, 2015
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What is Wrong with People?
A meteorologist on Global News News Hour Plus in Canada took to the airwaves last Thursday to discuss a hate letter. Kristi Gordon is pregnant, and got a nastygram about the way she looks on the news. Calling her "gross," the viewer wrote further: “Your front end looks like the Hindenburg and your rear-end looks like a brick sh—house. We now turn off Global." Actually, she's gotten a few, and she decided to talk about it on the air with the news co-anchors. The male anchor didn't think they should give the letter any attention. "Haters gonna hate," he said, "as some rapper may have said." The female anchor corrected him immediately, which is the funniest put-down I've seen in a long while. Check out the whole thing... Sparks some interesting discussion.  
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They're Stripes and You've Earned Them
Rachel Hollis is a 32-year-old mom of three, and she's not afraid to wear a bikini to the beach. She writes a lifestyle blog called The Chic Site, and used it to share an Instagram picture of herself on the beach in a two-piece, and she's inspiring women around the world to celebrate their mom-bods. "I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini," she wrote. "I have a belly that's permanently flabby from carrying three giant babies and I wear a bikini. My belly button is saggy... (which is something I didn't even know was possible before!!) and I wear a bikini. I wear a bikini because I'm proud of this body and every mark on it." Check out the picture, and the rest of what she has to say.     I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini. I have a belly that's permanently flabby from carrying three giant babies and I wear a bikini. My belly button is saggy... (which is something I didn't even know was possible before!!) and I wear a bikini. I wear a bikini because I'm proud of this body and every mark on it. Those marks prove that I was blessed enough to carry my babies and that flabby tummy means I worked hard to lose what weight I could. I wear a bikini because the only man who's opinion matters knows what I went through to look this way. That same man says he's never seen anything sexier than my body, marks and all. They aren't scars ladies, they're stripes and you've earned them. Flaunt that body with pride! #HollisHoliday A photo posted by Rachel Hollis (@msrachelhollis) on Mar 21, 2015 at 9:21am PDT
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Thanks, Obama!
This could be one of the most bizarre stories ever. A woman is suing the City of New York after she was locked up unnecessarily in a psychiatric ward for eight days following the confiscation of her car by the authorities. She admits she got a little high-strung while trying to get her BMW back from the police, but when she tried to prove what an upstanding citizen she was by showing that Barack Obama followed her on Twitter, she got locked up. Here's the kicker - turns out that @BarackObama does follow her on Twitter - except it's not POTUS, it's one of his campaign non-profit organizations. Still, eight days in the psych ward and a bill for $13,000 for the stay seems a bit much, don't you think?  
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Pranking for Lenovo
Ashton Kutcher's roots are in pranks. You of course remember his Punk'd on MTV. And he's also the pitchman for Lenovo computers. So why not take the two and put them together Down Under? Great idea. And that's exactly what he did. Watch what happens when Ashton goes undercover in an Australian department store, pitching the new Lenovo tablets to unsuspecting customers...  
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Got a Drone and a Lot of Spare Time?
It's amazing how inventive some folks can be. Take Oliver C... He's a YouTuber, probably from France, who designs flying objects with the help of drones. His latest creation is an imperial star destroyer from Star Wars. All you need is some foam, some aluminum and a remote-control drone, and you too could be the king of the geeks in your neighborhood...  
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Son of Coach?
NBC announced that it has ordered 13 episodes of Coach, starring Craig T. Nelson. You might remember that Coach, starring Craig T. Nelson, ran on ABC for nine seasons, ending in 1997. Yes, it's the same show, 18 years later. It picks up sort of where the original ended. Coach's adopted son is now a coach, and Coach has to deal with that. No word yet on whether other original cast members will return, since nothing's been written yet. The whole thing was settled in a pitch meeting... Seems almost too easy, doesn't it? Here's a fun little clip of Craig T. Nelson meeting the Coach from the Toyota ads a couple of years ago, talking about that show they both loved so much...  
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Now Playing, Sauce Castillo!
The people who do closed captioning for sporting events have a rough job. Hear it and type it, hear it and type it. They do their best to get it right, but sometimes, they're blunders are epic. Take this one. Nik Stauskas is a guard for the Sacramento Kings in the NBA. Except according to the closed-caption operator the other night, his name is actually SAUCE CASTILLO. It could easily have been one of those things no one noticed, but someone did, and now it's Nik's new name. Check out the video on the Kings' website. And check out what Nik had to say about it on Twitter, where the name has gone a little viral...   Wait what does "Sauce Castillo" mean? Since when was that my nickname lol!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ — Nik Stauskas (@NStauskas11) March 26, 2015
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That Knot is Tied
Country star Jason Aldean tied the knot last Saturday with Brittany Kerr. Yesterday, Brittany made it official by posting a picture of herself wearing a "Wifey" shirt to Instagram.     โค๏ธ A photo posted by @brittanylkerr on Mar 25, 2015 at 12:45pm PDT The wedding was held in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. And in the You-Can't-Make-This-Stuff-Up Department, the nuptials were officiated by Willie Robertson. Yes, that Willie Robertson - the one from Duck Dynasty.
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Nice to Meet You - You Are Dismissed
I guess everyone has a breaking point. It's got to be rough when you're on a publicity junket halfway around the world and reporters start asking silly questions. Take for instance Cate Blanchett. She was in Australia on a show called The Project to promote her new film, Cinderella. The report kept asking off-topic questions, and Cate had to keep steering him back to the purpose of her visit. And then he asked how she got a cat in the movie to do what she wanted it to do. And that's when she snapped. Check it out.  
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Defect & Head for the Border
Taco Bell launched a new ad campaign yesterday to promote its breakfast menu. And it's taking aim right between the eyes of a certain clown who routinely provides the "same same same" breakfast. The long-form ad looks as gray as anything George Orwell ever envisioned, and it has a feel like the Divergent films. Check it out. Unless you're afraid of clowns. Then you might want to think twice...  
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And Now, It's Two Direction
You can thank One Direction for the high-pitched wailing coming from your local high school yesterday afternoon. That's when they made it official: Zayn Malik is leaving the group, and it's permanent. A week ago, Zayn stopped touring, saying he was stressed. Now, he wants to be a "normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight." I'm sure that will happen... Meanwhile, One Direction will continue to tour and record without Zayn. Which is a pretty normal reaction for a bunch of 22-year-olds, don't you think?  
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A for Effort, But We'll Call This a Fail
You've got to give this guy credit. A motorist traveling on Interstate 5 outside Tacoma, Washington was using the car-pool lane. To legally do that, you have to actually have at least one passenger. This guy did - except it wasn't a real passenger. It was a cardboard cutout of the Most Interesting Man in the World. You know, the white-bearded guy from the Dos Equis ads? A state trooper noticed, and pulled the guy over. The punishment: $124 fine. The reward: this very cool tweet from the Washington State Patrol. I don't always violate the HOV lane law...but when I do, I get a $124 ticket! We'll give him an A for creativity! ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿ‘ pic.twitter.com/hNbQDuBWfc — Trooper Guy Gill (@wspd1pio) March 24, 2015
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Native Steeplebush Adds Beauty and Attracts Butterflies
It's not your common spirea found in many commercial and home landscapes; but rather it's less utilized relative and North American native shrub known as steeplebush or hardhack (Spiraea tomentosa). This adaptable shrub is hardy in zones 3 to 8. It prefers full sun, acidic sandy soils with wet to moist conditions, but it will tolerate light shade and a wide range of soils. Steeplebush grows 2 to 4 feet tall and much wider as its suckering nature allows it to form colonies. This makes it a great choice for pond side plantings, hedges, natural areas, rain gardens and bank stabilization. The spires of pink flowers appear from mid-summer into fall. Light deadheading will encourage more bloom. The attractive flowers help attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. It's a nectar source for the rare Karner Blue butterfly and the leaves are a favorite food for several caterpillars and moths. A bit more information: Another native spirea, Meadowseet (Spiraea alba), produces spires of white flowers and is hardy in zones 3 to 7. It makes a great cut flower and is a butterfly favorite. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Native Steeplebush Adds Beauty and Attracts Butterflies
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