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Railing planters filled with colorful combinations can add sparkle to balconies, decks and porches.
Railing planters filled with colorful combinations can add sparkle to balconies, decks and porches. (Photo: Gardener's Supply Company)

No gardening space? No problem with container gardening

Brighten up your patio, deck or front entrance with containers. They’re an excellent way to add color, fragrance and beauty where plantable space is limited or non-existent.

Set a few containers on the front or back steps, in the corner of your deck or other locations where they can be enjoyed. Try stacking and planting several containers to create a display with greater vertical interest. Check the views when looking from inside the house as well as when enjoying the space outdoors. Strategically place containers for the greatest viewing pleasure.

Save even more space by using railing planters. You can dress up the porch or deck by filling these planters with colorful flowers and edibles. Make sure they are sturdy and easy to install. Reduce time spent installing and maintaining with easy-to-install self-watering rail planters, like Viva balcony rail planters.

Don’t limit yourself to flowers. Mix in a few edibles and bring some homegrown flavor to your outdoor entertaining. You and your guests will enjoy plucking a few mint leaves to flavor beverages, basil to top a slice of pizza or sprig of dill to top grilled fish.

Herbs not only add flavor to your meals, but texture and fragrance to container gardens, and the many new dwarf vegetable varieties are suited to containers. Their small size makes them easy to include, and many have colorful fruit that is not only pretty but delicious.

Add a few edible flowers like nasturtium and pansies. Dress up a plate of greens with edible flowers for a gourmet touch. Or freeze a few pansy flowers in ice cubes and add them to a glass of lemonade or sparkling water.  

Include flowers like globe amaranth (Gomphrena), Lisianthus and daisies that are great for cutting. You’ll enjoy your garden inside and out throughout the season.

And don’t forget to plant some flowers for the butterflies to enjoy. Zinnias, cosmos and marigolds are just a few that are sure to brighten any space while also attracting butterflies to your…

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Bumstead Provisions is taking over the former ReThreads and hardware store spaces.
Bumstead Provisions is taking over the former ReThreads and hardware store spaces.

Bumstead Provisions, a bar, restaurant and grocer, coming to Bay View

Bumstead Provisions – a new shopping, dining and bar experience – will move into the former ReThreads and hardware store buildings, 2671-75 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Bumstead will include a rustic "deli-meets-bistro" restaurant featuring sandwiches, entrees and small plates, a bar specializing in craft beer and a small-town-type general store with spreads, oils, sauces, chocolates and more.

Owners Devin Eichler and Mike Bodow are from Twelve12 Hospitality, the ownership group of Crafty Cow in Oconomowoc.

"The Bay View neighborhood just has this vibe, it just feels right," says Bodow.

Braatz Building, the creators of Lulu Café and Goodkind in Milwaukee, will build-out the space. Designer Libby Castro of LP/w Design Studios will handle the interiors. LP/w also did the interiors at C. 1880 and The Vanguard.

Bumstead Provisions is expected to open in early September. Corporate executive chef Allen Andrews will run the kitchen.

"Bumstead Provisions is going to focus on artisan sandwiches and small plates, but also as a place you can pick up all of your amazing deli meats, cheeses, spreads and bread for dinner or before Packers games on Sunday," says Andrews.

Bumstead Provisions proposes to be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

The Riverwest neighborhood, seen at the corner of Clarke and Holton Streets, is lining up to be a big participant in Doors Open Milwaukee 2015.
The Riverwest neighborhood, seen at the corner of Clarke and Holton Streets, is lining up to be a big participant in Doors Open Milwaukee 2015.

Doors Open Milwaukee: Mapping and exploring the city's patchwork quilt

Doors Open Milwaukee introduces Milwaukeeans and visitors to all sorts of new experiences unique to the Cream City. Each year, as many as 150 free sites and over 30 in-depth tours open up for folks from near and far to see, often for the first time.

In addition to Doors Open Milwaukee, Historic Milwaukee, Inc, provides walking tours and educational programs including Spaces & Traces.

When all of these sites are presented to you in the Doors Open event guide or website, you’ll likely find several places that pique your interest and prompt you to ask a couple of those recurring questions in life: "Where are we going? And how do we get there?"

My role as cartographer, or map maker, for Doors Open is to help provide an easy-to-read map that guides you to any and all of the sites and tours that will be open on Sept. 19-20. Beyond the scope of providing directions to sites with the maps, I get to observe how Doors Open Milwaukee becomes a more inclusive way to get to know the City of Milwaukee and its nearby suburbs.

My role is one of many volunteer slots that are absolutely necessary in making the event a success each year. Several hundred people take on a variety of duties from recording the number of visitors at each site to helping Amy Grau as program manager of Doors Open Milwaukee generate creative marketing ideas to spread word of the event to the masses. Without all of these fabulous folks giving their time before and during the event, Doors Open Milwaukee simply couldn’t exist.

What possibly makes my situation unique through three-plus years of volunteering is that I follow the event as an out-of-towner. Growing up in Northern Wisconsin, I have played a part in Doors Open while living in the St. Louis (where I did not root for the Cardinals!) and Madison metro areas. Living in these other cities while also trying to keep a pulse on Milwaukee’s culture gives me a different vantage point to pick out what Milwaukee offers, especially through Doors Open, tha…

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Matt Blanchard was a great quarterback at Whitewater and now gets a chance with the Packers.
Matt Blanchard was a great quarterback at Whitewater and now gets a chance with the Packers. (Photo: UW-Whitewater)

Packers sign former UW-Whitewater standout QB Blanchard

The Green Bay Packers have signed quarterback Matt Blanchard, a former standout at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

General Manager Ted Thompson announced the signing of the 6-foot-3, 223-pound second-year player. He was originally signed by the Chicago Bears as a non-drafted rookie free agent on May 14, 2012. He was waived by Chicago toward the end of the preseason but was re-signed to the practice squad, where he spent the first 12 games of the season.

As an All-American quarterback, Blanchard maintained an accurate 70.4 percent average in pass completion, resulting in a total of 44 touchdown passes in the duration of his career as a starter at UW-Whitewater.

In addition to his completion efficiency, Blanchard demonstrated accuracy by throwing only five interceptions throughout his starting career. He went undefeated at UW-Whitewater all three years on the team, earning three national championships.