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4 SPACES | SCN COMMUNICATIONS GROUP
SPACES Publisher JAMES W. FANCY
Associate Publisher DAVID P. HOHENDORF
This late May issue of Spaces is devoted to topics designed to help
readers as they move into the summer months. Administrative Assistant CAROL BARR
News Editor TIMOTHY S. DMOCH

Spaces is being delivered to 50,000 homes this week as a Staff Writers BROOKE MEIER,

supplement to the Spinal Column Newsweekly, part of the SCN LESLEY SHEPARD-OWSLEY,
ANDREW SAWMILLER,
Communications Group, publisher of the newspaper, along with
MICHAEL SHELTON
Oakland Lakefront magazine, Oakland Homes, the
Staff Photographer AMY K. LOCKARD
MonthlyAdvertiser, the West Oakland Director and The Paper.
Contributors MIKE SCOTT, MARK H. STOWERS
Advertising Sales Representatives JILL CESARZ, DAN NEUMAIER,
In this issue you will find editorial features on the topics of cooling
JULES PICKARD, LINDA STICKNEY,
your home during the warm months; the latest trends in window RON WARWICK
design and the ins and outs of landscape irrigation. As always, we Sales Assistants JESSICA HOLSTEIN, KATEY MEISNER
rely whenever possible on local businesses to serve as our
Inside Sales Manager LORI SNYDER
information sources on the main features.
Inside Sales Representatives RHONDA LIBKUMAN, CINDY STAWICK,
LESLIE TIMKO
You will also find inside this issue the special column from home
Graphics Manager CHRIS GRAMMER
inspector Jeff LaPorte of White Lake and our popular feature
Graphics Assistants DENISE JUNGJOHAN,
called For What It’s Worth, which gives readers a look at what KAREN POLATKA, MARCIA REIMER
home are for sale in a specific price range in today’s market. Systems Manager CHRIS GRAMMER
Circulation Manager DENNIS BOGGS
Our goal at Spaces is to bring you, in an upscale, magazine-format
Circulation Assistant DAN GRIFFIN
publication, editorial and advertising information directed at home
Accounts Receivable Manager CAROL BARR
design and improvement.
Accounts Receivable Supervisor CAROLYN PETHERBRIDGE
Accounts Receivable MABLE McCULLOUGH, JAN MORRIS
Spaces will return in the fall months—September 9 and October
7—to help homeowners prepare for the fall and winter months. Phone 248.360.6397 / 248.360.7355
Address/Street 7196 Cooley Lake Road
We are only able to bring you this information in Spaces with the Waterford, Michigan, 48327-4113
assistance of the local advertisers you find in this issue, and the Address/Mail P.O. Box 14
Union Lake, MI, 48387-0014
local experts who helped supply information for this edition.

David P. Hohendorf
Publisher
SPINAL COLUMN NEWSWEEKLY
THE PAPER
OAKLAND LAKEFRONT
OAKLAND HOMES
MONTHLYADVERTISER
WEST OAKLAND DIRECTORY

SUMMER 2009 | SPACES 5


WINDOW
TRENDS
INDUSTRY ADVANCES OFFER
CONSUMERS MANY SHAPE,
SIZE, FEATURE CHOICES

Y
ears ago, windows were much
like the original Model T — it
only came in black. Windows only
came in metal frames and were
white. But a lot has changed
since Henry bought that first
gallon of black paint. Cars have more
colors than can be imagined, and windows
now have as many amenities, options and
features as today's cars.
Windows now come in all shapes and sizes and face different directions in
varying climates, and are getting "greener" every day. On top of that, the
government has gotten involved in the window trade, so to speak, as it offers tax
breaks to those who purchase new windows. You may wish for the simpler days
of just metal, glass and a mono-color choice; but with a little knowledge, you can
find the perfect windows for your home — and save money over the long haul.
According to Carl Curtis of Curtis Builders in Highland Township, up until the
1980s windows weren't very good.
"When I first started, energy efficiency was nothing like it is compared to
today," he said. "Back in the '80s the main framing was aluminum or sometimes
wood — not something very efficient or long-lasting. Windows today could last
as long as your house."
The Basics
Windows are still made of glass but now offer the choice of vinyl, fiberglass or
wood to frame the window.
John Newmyer of Newmyer Remodeling in Commerce Township said he saw
the initial use of materials other than metal to frame windows a couple of
decades ago.
"The biggest innovation 20 years ago was when people started cladding their
windows, typically with aluminum and some with vinyl," he said. "Then we saw
the dawn of low E glass, which is very misused and misunderstood."
In 1979, low-E glass coatings were introduced to home windows. The E
stands for emissivity — a measure of a material's ability to radiate absorbed
energy.
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"Low-E glass captures the sun's heat and keeps it there are special screens that let more light and air
in your house — period," Newmyer said. "If you in.
put it in the wrong spot, like a room where the "The window market is really in flux," Newmyer
sun is shining in all the time, that room is going to said. "There’s just a ton of new things coming out
get hotter." — lots of new technology."
But low-E glass coatings can be beneficial when You can save money on your taxes when you
placed in the right rooms because they have the purchase and install new windows for your home.
ability to allow visible light through but block the A federal tax credit of 30 percent of your window
more harmful ultraviolet, or UV light. Sunlight costs is deductible, but not the installation costs.
contains visible light, UV light, and infrared (IR) "Make sure the label on the windows are an
light. Visible light enables us to see things. NFRC label meeting those requirements," Newmyer
Ultraviolet light damages your skin, wood, fabrics, said. "But always check with your tax accountant
and causes colors to fade. Infrared light is basically to make sure you qualify for the tax credit."
heat. The credit has caused a rush in the window and
Low-E glass has the ability to allow visible light door industry, with businesses getting their
to pass while blocking certain amounts of UV light products up to government standards so
and IR light. Thus, it keeps your home cooler in customers can receive the tax credit.
the summer. Another benefit of low E glass is that "The government has really worked to help the
it helps to reduce condensation on glass. industry," Newmyer said. "The tax credit runs
The differences between traditional glass and through 2010."
low-e glass can be dramatic. Imagine a cold night Color choices are among of the newest amenities
with an outside temperature of 0 degrees and a 15 the window industry has to offer.
mph wind. The inside glass surface temperature of "We are seeing just a ton of color selections,"
a single pane window would be approximately 26 Newmyer said. "And I think they are going to
degrees. Regular double pane glass might register continue to see more and more and more."
35 degrees. Hard coat low E-glass would be very Curtis estimates there are at least 50 different
near 49 degrees. And weighing in at champ would flash the unit and put it in properly so water has a colors to choose from.
be soft coat low-E glass at 62 degrees. With natural path to run out." "If they give me a color I can deliver them a
homes losing nearly 25 percent of their heat Frame It Well paintable, stainable window in that color," he said.
through windows, do the math and see the savings With so many innovations in glass, the frame "They can paint it any color. And there are many
over many years by using low-E glass coatings. hasn't been left out. You've heard the term "hybrid" types of frames to choose from with foam filled,
"You'll save on heating costs and it works the thrown around to describe modes of engines for insulated, reinforced and interlocked frames that
opposite way for air conditioning," said Fred automobiles. But the window industry also has make it hard for anyone to pry break in."
Mekled of Thermal Shield Windows in Waterford. hybrid windows where the inside and the outside Consumers also now have options regarding
"You'll never feel the 8-below-zero temperature of the window have two different materials. window hardware.
outside, but on the inside it'll be about 70 "Wood with fiberglass, wood with aluminum and "The interior hardware selections are nice, too,"
degrees." wood with a vinyl exterior are called hybrid Curtis said. "There are a lot of finishes — bronze,
Newmyer said there are many glass window windows," Newmyer said. "Everything outside can satin finishes, nickel and brass are always there."
choices available for each room's needs. stand up to the rain and snow and wetness and If you have custom dimensions for your
"There are a ton of them that help deal with not rot. And then inside you have the warmth and windows, the industry isn't treating you like a
everything — visible light, solar gain, UV beauty of the wood. A lot of people want the foreign sports car at a domestic repair shop.
protection, and also insulation qualities," he said. wood inside." "Manufacturers are getting friendlier to custom
"And there are all the coatings available to improve Hybrids give you all the benefits of each sizes without a charge so high that your kids can't
a window's thermal efficiency." combination while allowing different color go to college," he said.
With so many options available for window combinations or stains with the wood interior. Windows with blinds between the glass panels,
buyers, Newmyer suggests that you first do some Newmyer advises people to pay attention to the along with pleated shades, are now available.
"windowscaping." glass size, because you are buying windows for the Remote controlled windows can be installed, as
"Walk around your house with someone who glass, first and foremost. Usually replacement well.
knows what they're talking about," he said. "Look windows are fitted into the old window opening; "People have to remember though that those
at the conditions. Look where the windows are but there will typically be more frame on the new amenities increase the cost of the window because
facing. Are there any trees to block the sun or a window, giving you less glass. This is commonly you're adding the cost of the blind," Newmyer said.
building to block the sun? What sort of wind load referred to as an "economy installation" and doesn't According to Curtis, a large percentage of
do you have? There are a ton of factors." address the area between the house and window customers want "tilt-in windows for easy cleaning."
Many of the windows that have problems are frame, where there will be a lack of insulation. Get a Reputable Installer and Dealer
those that face either west or south, according to "You are limited in the way you flash the unit One thing to keep in mind is to search for a
Newmyer. But more important than placement is when that happens," Newmyer said. reputable company to sell and install your
the installation of the window itself. Curtis said vinyl windows are less expensive, but windows. Newmyer said a decent amount of his
"It's well documented that about 99 percent of you may have to replace them sooner and more customers are second-time window buyers who
the windows being installed in the U.S. are often than a higher-end window. first looked for a great deal.
installed improperly," he said. "They aren't being "But typically you are paying about one-third of "We take our customers through an educational
flashed correctly." what the higher end may cost. And you get a lot process about the windows," he said. "Otherwise,
One of the biggest problems is relying on the of the same options, just not the longevity," he they usually don't know what they are getting into.
sealing on window installation. said. Most of the windows we see that we're replacing
"The phrase in the industry is 'water out, water Vinyl windows offer less color options than are from local companies that have gone out of
out, water out,'" Newmyer said. "Never rely on wood. business. If you get a price that's too good to be
caulking. A lot of people think you're all set if you Other Amenities to Consider true, then it is."
use caulk. No, you're not. The best thing to do is In addition to the window and frame options, PAGE 11❯ ❯ ❯ ❯

SUMMER 2009 | SPACES 9


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Mekled emphasized that he's not a "sign on the something else, not the installation."
dotted line now" salesman. Newmyer passed on one more bit of information
"We give free estimates and we're not a high- for those who may be thinking about buying a
pressure sales company," he said. "We don't beat home in the near future.
them up. And we've had the same employees for "My best advice is you should take a close look
the last 24 years — no sub-contractors. The guy at those windows," he said. "If you hire an
that measures your window will be the same guy inspector, tell him to look at them real close. It's
that installs it. We know who's in your house." not uncommon to write a $30,000 to $60,000
When dealing with a window-buying decision, window order — and sometimes even more. It's a
Newmyer suggest focusing on quality. big-ticket item. When you buy a window, look at
"A lot of people are just after price, and in my the whole enchilada — where it's going, and who
opinion that's a foolish way to buy windows," he is installing it. A lot of people think a window is a
said. "I would look at the quality of the product window. It's not. You've got a lot of options
and the quality of the contractor." available."
When you look at the contractor, ask questions Newmyer’s product line includes Pella,
such as “How long have you been in business?" Anderson, Weather Shield, Marvin, Jeldwin, Eagle
"What are the installation techniques?" "How much and Mill Guard.
education within the industry do you have?" Mekled's line-up includes Anderson, Pella and
Newmyer said the "average window is 10- to 15- Allside.
years-old with wood rotting and with glass and Curtis installs Weather King and Anderson,
among others windows.
seal failure. So people are in the position where ❏
they need to replace. They can't even see outdoors — By Mark Stowers
anymore."
As the industry changes its technology and RESOURCES
continues to improve products, installers have to "I'm in training at least two weeks out of the • Fred Mekled, Thermal Shield Windows
stay on the cutting edge of that technology in year," Newmyer said. "It's changing and it's 248.623.6666
order to put in the newer products both efficiently changing quickly. If I want to play the game I have • John Newmyer, Newmyer Remodeling
and correctly. In order to do so, time away from to be a part of it. I have to go to the seminars but 248.669.3500
the office spent with books and training are the I always learn something and get a lot out of each
new way of life for those window sellers who want one. But I know I'm putting the product in right; • Carl Curtis, Curtis Builders
to stay in business. and when I get a call from a client, it's about 248.343.2659

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Gardening for everyone your domicile
MEASURE A HOME BY ITS CONDITION
Special tools and planning make it
Jeff LaPorte
easier for disabled people to cultivate

A
s well as they should, I’m sure most if not all home
buyers get excited when finding their dream home

B
eing disabled doesn't mean you can't raise tomatoes or fragrant flowers in
your backyard, or that you have to skip touring a large botanical garden. With with the endearing rooms, fancy frills and the like,
ergonomic garden tools, specialized growing equipment, how-to books and but equal weight should be given to the innards of a
web sites, raising veggies, planting petunias or simply enjoying the smell of a home, such as the mechanical systems, windows and
gardenia or touch of rose petals are all within reach. It may take a little work and a ventilation, etc. Buyer beware should be the No. 1 rule
good deal of planning, the experts say, but the end result is worth it. while searching for real estate.
Francesco Clark knows about it first hand. In a wheelchair after a crippling It’s funny how many people judge a home on décor and
spinal cord injury from a 2002 swimming pool diving accident, Clark has since not much more. They see nice window treatments, but
become an enthusiastic home gardener. As an ambassador for the Christopher and they never pull those back to see if the windows, interior wall or the wood
Dana Reeve Foundation (christopherreeve.org), he has no hesitation about sharing trim is rotted.
the dos and don'ts of creating a home garden for yourself or for a friend or relative Of course, floor plans and amenities are important buy-or-not-to-buy factors,
with a disability. and the chase for the perfect home will always have an emotional flavor. But
"In my experience, the accessibility of the garden has always been an issue," first impressions can be costly oversights. Drafty windows, cracked walls,
Clark said. "Walkways are either too narrow or an uneven surface, like brick, wavy shingles may be tip offs that your major expenses are not done once
physically blocking my wheels from getting to where I want to go. There is never you leave the closing table.
enough room to turn around and back up, and most of all, it always ends up It is important to differentiate between faults that sellers must disclose and
looking ugly. There's no need for that. The new types of colored concrete are great problems that, while not deal killers, new owners may eventually need to spend
for this, and they can be molded to make stone-like shapes." a considerable amount of money to repair or replace. Home inspectors will note
For Clark, an easy solution is "setting up a nice, elegant table where I can pull up true deficiencies including foundation issues, improper or unsafe electrical
in my wheelchair and work on whatever gardening projects I like. I love that table." equipment or structural inadequacies. What seems a minor defect to the buyer
Placement of the water hose is very important, he added. may be deemed a major defect by a home inspector and may end up being a
"If it's too hard to uncoil, I can't use it," he said. "If I do uncoil it, but it crosses deal breaker for you. For example, a long horizontal crack in the foundation
my wheelchair's path, I get stuck. I've actually punctured a hose rolling over it, then wall or windows that are difficult to open/close should raise red flags.
got sprayed with what felt like 800 gallons of freezing water." Sometimes the temptation to overlook defects — both minor and major —
Though pricey, push-button controlled sprinklers are easier to use. may be strong.
People tend to design vegetable gardens too tight, Clark said. When would-be buyers see a well presented home, they start to take mental
"Make them spacious, and adding a little sitting area between vegetables and ownership of the property before they should. The condition of the furnace,
flowers is nice so you can enjoy the space," he said. "And you can use that space as roof and drainage issues are far less sexy but are far more important to their
workspace so you don't need to wheel a long distance from your work-table to overall satisfaction with their home.
planting beds." Home inspectors not only need to highlight major expensive areas in need of
Botanical gardens, zoos and even fancy nurseries are the best places to get repair but also non-critical expensive areas, as well. Would-be buyers should also
ideas. Clark said they are "amazing" resources, and many are accessible to the inquire about an estimated remaining lifespan of components indentified as aging.
physically-handicapped or visually-impaired. If you’re in the market for a new home, here is a roster of items I suggest are
More botanic gardens are now featuring raised beds and displays of adaptive worth keeping an eye on:
tools and model gardens. Some are adding Braille-identified prickly, sticky, soft and
rough trees and plants that allow the blind and visually-impaired to discover a • Driveways, walkways or low-pitch spots that pitch towards the home.
Water should be directed away from the foundation, not toward it.
garden with senses different than sight.
If you can afford it, bring along your contractor, gardening helper or landscape • Wall cracks in the foundation or interior rooms.
architect, or go with a friend that is helping you with your project. • Buckled or wavy roofing caused by aging shingles, heat trapped in an
"My budget was very limited, so I went with my family and friends to unventilated attic, or ice dams.
brainstorm," Clark said of his visit to a botanical garden. • Check utility bills. If the heating or cooling bills are whoppers, the
Clark uses very large flowerpots "so my sitting height is an easy working height insulation and drafty windows may need to be updated or replaced
to maintain flowers and more needy plants. They also look fantastic, help frame the
• Aging mechanicals and infrastructure. When was the plumbing or
space and break up boring spaces." electrical service upgraded or replaced? The furnace may be a relic and the
He suggested you keep the more easily maintained plants at floor level, since air conditioning may be aging. Inefficient HVAC systems make need a total
they don't need as much attention. makeover.
Even if you're disabled but not confined to a wheelchair, there's no need to give
• Damaged plumbing systems and moisture damage as seen in many
up gardening. Among the tools now on the market are easily-gripped garden
foreclosed homes due to improper winterization.
trowels, long reach cultivators, cushioned kneelers for weeding and planting, and
even barrier-free gardening tables with removable planters. The best solution is to be prepared, do your homework and use the services
Several books, like Janeen Adil's "Accessible Gardening for People with Physical of a qualified home inspector.
Disabilities" ($17, Idyl Arbor) or Joann Woy's "Accessible Gardening: Tips and Happy house hunting!
Techniques for Seniors and the Disabled" ($17, Stackpole), provide step-by-step Jeff LaPorte is certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) with
guides to planning and building home gardens. ❏ over 10 years experience and is the owner of “The Home Team Inspection
— Creators News Service Service.” He can be contacted via e-mail at jlaporte720@comcast.net.
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16 SPACES | SCN COMMUNICATIONS GROUP


The first step is to make heads aren't in the way. Not
sure that an irrigation system paying attention to where
is properly set up and your system is located can
maintained. One big water both impact the
waster is having poorly effectiveness of the system
adjusted spray patterns, so it and possibly damage its
matters where the water is components.
going. It's possible for the "If you follow some of
alignment of sprinklers to these basic guidelines your
shift over time, or to get system should be effective
knocked off target. That's for 30 or more years,"
one reason why they should Sutherland said.
be checked at least once Depending on the size of
every year. a home's yard, installing an
Sprinklers should also be irrigation system can cost
laid out in a way that ensures anywhere from a few
proper head-to-head hundred to several thousand
coverage. This requires the dollars.
spray from each sprinkler in a Automatic lawn irrigation
zone to reach the sprinkler systems are generally best
heads that are adjacent to it. for areas that require
Without head-to-head constant maintenance and
coverage it is virtually impossible to create an icy months set in. This requires hooking a large regular watering to maintain active, healthy
even water pattern, which again results in air compressor onto the system and blowing air growth.
uneven, wasteful watering. through it so that all excess water is removed Most warm-season grasses require a constant
Sprinkler heads need to be perpendicular to and the heads don't crack, according to Bob water supply during the warm, active growth
the ground beneath them. Sprinklers that are Sutherland, owner of Sutherland Lawn months to maintain an even, fresh appearance.
not upright will not throw an even spray Sprinklers in Commerce Township. When setting your irrigation systems with the
pattern, and that means gallons of wasted "There isn't much that you can or should do help of a professional, it's important to make
water. to improve the efficiency of your system," sure you are limiting the amount of water that
Over-watering is one of the worst water Sutherland said. "You can clean the dirt around is being sprayed on the sidewalk, driveway or
wasters. It causes run-off and can damage your where the sprinklers are and make it very street.
plants. Some methods used to determine the noticeable so that you won't run it over with a Watering Your Trees, Plants, Grass and More
correct amount of water to apply require a lawn mower. Other than that it's a pretty simple There are many tips that homeowners should
detailed understanding of plant physiology and process." consider when determining how much water
local geology. However, there are two simple That process should also take place in the should be used as part of their irrigation
methods to use that are within reach of most spring because not "blowing out" your sprinkler system, and when it should be used. Water
homeowners. system then could cause additional damage, affects trees, plants and grass differently.
To determine how long you can water a zone, said Jeff Stulberg, owner of J&S Landscaping Here are a few general watering tips:
manually activate the zone. Then, time how and Maintenance in Commerce Township. Look for early signs of wilt. Common signs
long it takes for runoff or saturation to appear. Sprinkler heads and lines often need to be include leaves with a blue-green cast, and
Do this a few times on different days, and then adjusted based on the homeowner's needs, and footprints where the grass won't bounce back
set that zone to water for slightly less time than the spring is a perfect time to do this, up. These areas need more watering,
the average of all the readings you made. This according to Stulberg. For example, a particularly early in the growing season.
is the maximum you should water at one time. homeowner who wants to add a flower bed to The soil should be watered to a depth of 6 to
If your plants need more water than this allows, their yard will have to water that differently 8 inches. The common amount of water
use the multiple start times feature on your than the grass. required for maintaining this depth is 1 to 2
system's timer. This lets the water soak in "Flowers and plants require less water than inches of water per week.
before additional water is applied. grass, so you really have to look at how often It's most efficient to water the soil in the
Another real-world technique is known as the you are watering different parts of your yard," morning. Higher humidity, low wind, and dew
"feel test." As the name implies, it means getting Stulberg said. "You do need to consider when wetness make the watering more effective.
intimate with your dirt. First, dig a hole about 8 and how heads and lines need to be adjusted Night watering often promotes the spread of
inches deep at the spot you want to test. Next, and a good time to do that is when you have disease and insects.
pick up a handful of dirt and give it a squeeze. your system checkup each spring." Trees
If you can form a ball, the soil is adequately Another important consideration is to make It's recommended that turf be cut back at
moist. sure that tree roots don't adversely impact the least one foot from the trunks of trees, because
One of the most important recommendations sprinkler head's performance. Whenever watering the trunk wastes water and promotes
that professionals give homeowners is to ensure homeowners plant new flowers, trees or rot on the tree trunk, according to Mark
that their system is winterized before the cold, bushes, they should make sure that sprinkler PAGE 19❯ ❯ ❯ ❯

SUMMER 2009 | SPACES 17


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18 SPACES | SCN COMMUNICATIONS GROUP


Chambers of Mark's Landscape and Watering in Planting Beds
Waterford. Catch basins can be created around As Stulberg said, planting beds and flowers
trees that can minimize runoff, allowing water require less water than grass. Mulch is
the time it needs to feed the root system. recommended with planting beds because 2 to
Trees also prefer long, slow watering, and 4 inches of mulch controls weeds and reduces
mature trees generally need to be watered to a evaporative loss, both of which save water and
depth of 24 inches, so adjusting your irrigation
help make your irrigation systems more
system accordingly is recommended.
effective.
Lawns
It's also advisable to use plants native to the
Most well-established lawns require at least 1
Michigan area, as plants from wetter
inch of water per week to maintain a "healthy
environments waste tremendous amounts of
green" look. It should be noted that grass is
water, which can pose a threat to the local
healthiest when it is watered deeply and
environment. In addition, drip irrigation can be
infrequently, a strategy that encourages deep recommended if it is more than one-half-inch
used as an efficient watering method when
root growth. thick. In such cases, grass should be cut no
Proper watering techniques can ensure a possible. ❏
shorter than two inches, which helps to reduce
healthy lawn by keeping the turf stress-free. — By Mike Scott
evaporative water loss and increase drought
Maintaining optimum watering conditions resistance.
promotes deep rooting, disease resistance and RESOURCES
Grass cycling, with the use of a mulching
insect resistance. Pests and diseases tend to mower, allows homeowners to cut the grass • Mark Chambers, Mark's Landscaping and
strike when the plant is least healthy or under when it is dry. This grass residue reduces Lawn Systems, 248.887.5296
water or nutrient stress. Proper watering can evaporation and adds nutrients. • Bob Sutherland, Sutherland Lawn Sprinklers
keep pests and diseases at bay, and further Finally, aerating lawn yearly can prevent soil
810.560.3057
increases the importance and value an irrigation compaction and greatly reduces water run-off
system can offer. from the lawn so that an irrigation system is • Jeff Stulberg, J&S landscape and Maintenance,
De-thatching a home's lawn is also more effective. 248.310.5092

SAVE THE 2009 DATES

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SUMMER 2009 | SPACES 19
50 YEARS: OUR STORY
The Spinal Column Newsweekly, with 2009, is marking its 50th year publishing
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with an essential news product, the Spinal Column Newsweekly, that allows
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remained unchanged, along with our commitment to the communities and
residents of west Oakland.

It is the reason local residents continue to turn first to the Spinal Column
Newsweekly.

COMMITMENT. INNOVATION.

SCN COMMUNICATIONS GROUP


Spinal Column Newsweekly • Oakland Lakefront • Oakland Homes • MonthlyAdvertiser • West Oakland Directory
A plethora of patio pleasures
Turn exterior space into lounge area, outdoor kitchen or both
H
ome is a place of refuge. visions and the three most important
Maybe it's because of gas
prices, the cost of movie tickets
Springing into As a fan of art in the house and a
devotee of luscious fabrics, another
reasons for landscaping.
Budget is also important. Heiler
or the high price of babysitters, but action to get of Myles' design tricks is large, easy-
to-make custom wall "paintings."
makes sure that the client
today's family prefers to stay at home understands what the ultimate costs
to entertain, relax and otherwise "chill home refreshed "Buy four canvas stretcher bars
— found at artist supply stores. Pop
will be to complete the project. He
out." takes into consideration the size of
While the backyard barbecue may
be old news, more and more families T he long, cold winter is over.
Spring is here, and with it comes
the urge to spruce up your living
them together. A 3-foot-by-3-foot
frame costs about $8," she said.
the patio, climate and location. For
example, an outdoor kitchen should
are moving their living spaces to the While artists stretch white canvas, ideally be located immediately outside
outdoors and looking for all of the quarters. you can stretch a yard of beautiful the indoor kitchen.
creature comforts of home. Turning Kim Myles, host of HGTV's "Myles fabric and hang a work of art that "A complex project such as this
an otherwise simple patio into a fully- of Style," is full of ideas on how you infuses a space with color and should really be completed in one
can accomplish this creatively texture. An added dividend: The step, not multiple stages," he said.
without breaking the bank. whole project costs less than $40. "However, one possible way to
"When you want to freshen up for This is especially welcome if construct the space in phases is to
spring, the key is to edit," she said. you're renting a home where you add plantings, landscape lighting and
"Instead of adding and layering as we can't paint or hang heavy things, furniture in the second year as the
do for winter, I pull out candles, according to Myles. finishing touches."
throws, pillows and my little fluffy "Imagine the impact over a couch, Even so, Heiler said, "70 percent
Many people have been turning their accent rugs. The idea is to leave particularly in a tiny apartment," she of the budget will be spent in the
patios into more than just an outdoor behind only the things you love, and said. first phase of the project."
area. It can be transformed into that it costs you nothing." Then there's the fireplace. The Roadmap To Your Space
perfect lounge area, your dream Take a look at your window Crackling and cozy during the winter, Robert Milani, a landscape
kitchen, or both. treatments, too. Switching window "it becomes a big black hole of architect, said the basic trend is to
equipped outdoor kitchen makes for coverings can have a huge visual nothing in the spring," Myles said. "create a space outside to mimic a
easy and fashionable entertaining. impact, Myles said. But it's also an opportunity for an kitchen and dining room. The
Even non-gourmet cooks seem to "Replace heavy drapes with sheer elegant design statement. amenities would include a gas grill,
produce more flavorful meals when curtains in white or cream," she said. "Fill the fireplace with fresh sink, wet bar and fridge."
cooked over a bed of coals or a grill. "They're not expensive." flowers or potted plants," she Most homeowners are building
Depending on the investment, What remains is a light, spare advises. "If you're having a special these outdoor extensions onto
outdoor living areas can be turned space. party, stems of orchids in multiple already existing homes.
into year-round resorts. "When I achieve that spareness, vases will last three weeks and the "They are making an investment in
There are also those who prefer to I'm ready for spring," she said. cost is about $25 from a wholesale the home and enhancing their family
eat indoors but still lounge outside. Her canvas prepared, this flower dealer. space at the same time," he said.
Either way, the choice is yours. designer then looks to the upcoming There is also a big trend towards
"When they fade, switch them out
"Home is not where you live your summer. lounge areas with fire pits or outdoor
with ferns, succulents or house
life — it's how you live your life," said "Summer is when you add fullness fireplaces. The extension becomes a
plants," she added. "Each can make a
Wendy L. Perry, an outdoor living focal point for family activities and
to your living space," she said. dazzling display."
consultant. informal parties.
Again, achieving an impact need But whether you want a total new
Backyards can become your The difference between a simple
not cost a fortune. look, or just some simple, fresh
personal oasis with some planning. Fire patio with a barbecue grill and an
"I love to have fun with color — touches, it's important to maintain
pits can be used for warmth on a chilly outdoor kitchen, explained Milani, is
what about four pillows in celadon your individuality and adapt design
fall night. Overhead awnings can be the permanency of the area, as well
used to shade you from the hot sun.
green and canary yellow? You can't elements that inspire you. ❏ as the cost. Amenities such as gas
ignore it," she said. — Creators News Service
Careful landscaping can turn a stone grills, running water and outdoor
walkway into a tempting journey. appliances need to have special cut-
Today's home-building vocabulary might be just off of your home's "What time of day will they use the offs for safety.
includes words like al fresco (in the kitchen or around the pool. space? How many people will use the "It's critical that people understand
fresh air), patio (Spanish for back Decisions, Decisions space? How do you want to feel in what they want," he said.
garden), lanai (Hawaiian covered Chris Heiler, a landscape designer, the space — relaxed or energized? Milani estimated that the outlay
room), veranda (open-walled roofed said his first priorities before starting What specific elements do you may run up to $15,000, but he says
porch) and portico (covered walkway work on any outdoor kitchen or require — a built-in grill, fireplace, it is well worth it to increase the
with columns supporting it). Perhaps leisure area is to first learn what the screening, overhead coverage, etc.?" home's value. The biggest reward for
you would want a simple courtyard client wants from the area. His sample client questionnaire the homeowner, Milani added, is
or terrace, or a freestanding pavilion "For what exact activities do they that must be filed out before any "bringing families together." ❏
or a cabana? The outdoor extensions want to use the space?" he asked. plans are made asks for the client's — Creators News Service

SUMMER 2009 | SPACES 21


Versatile water features
A pond or fountain might be the perfect landscape accent
I
If you want to add character to babies, which people can share with
They are utilized primarily by
your outdoor living space, a
fountain or pond is a great way to
Peace, quiet incorporating the five elements: wood,
friends so their pond doesn't become
overpopulated. When they get used
revamp a landscape. await in your fire, earth, metal and water. Often, an
indoor or homemade version utilizes
to you they'll even eat out of your
Whether it's a large impressive hand. They really become pets."
plot or a small area that's tucked Zen garden only a few of these elements —
typically, wood, earth and water.
If you aren't interested in koi but
away on your property, water is the still want fish, there are shubunkins,
way to go, said Jennifer Zuri, a
marketing communications manager I t's a complicated world out there —
one that seems to move at an
increasingly rapid, nearly furious
"Inside the home, I don't
necessarily use all of the elements,"
or a type of goldfish, mosquitofish
and South American catfish known as
for a company that specializes in said Kalamian. However, one should plecostomus.
water gardens. pace. Regardless of how the details find a way into your garden. "Moving Once people have a fountain or
play out, chances are your days are water is important, or you can mimic pond, they usually can't imagine not
riddled with electronic devices, web moving water with sand or rock. having one, Zuri said.
communications and many Water is a big element." "We always hear from people that
distractions. Kalamian suggested starting off they love their water feature, but
So how and where does a person with a "clean palette" — a corner of wish they had put in a larger one,"
find some simple peace and quiet? the room or yard where nothing else she said. "We have found they enjoy
You might be able to find it right in is going on and that is "pretty them so much they usually upgrade
your very own home — in your square." Parziale agreed and added about three times. Installers tell us
personal Zen garden. that for those with less space, a that if they put one in a customer's
Ponds and waterfalls can take on "The whole point of a Zen garden square or rectangular serving tray yard, they usually get called back to
many shapes and forms, from the is simplicity, which dates back to the makes the perfect plot for this put in a few more in the same
ecosystem pictured above to a ancient Orient," said Mitch Kalamian, special space. Once you have a space neighborhood."
waterfall without a pond, and range an HGTV featured designer. set aside, follow these tips to create Some people even install their own
in price from an inexpensive system to The approach doesn't matter as a simple and tranquil place: ponds.
something larger. much as the goal of having a serene Water features can be used
• Fill the space with sand or pea
Basic features include ecosystem area amid the chaos. pebbles, and take a miniature rake anywhere, but most folks put the
ponds, pondless waterfalls and What makes this type of garden — or move your fingers — back and ecosystem ponds in the backyard
decorative fountains called unique from other flowering beds is forth across the sand, making a wave close to a sitting area, according to
fountainscapes. its roots in ancient Asian culture and effect. This incorporates the water Zuri.
"The pondless waterfall has the underlying philosophy it embodies. element paramount to a Zen garden. "The pondless waterfalls are good
become popular over the last few "A Zen garden provides a tranquil A fountain with slow trickling water for curb appeal or can really be
years," Zuri said. "Those are good for space for quiet, meditation and is also a popular item. anywhere," she said. "Some people
people who want to enjoy the sight contemplation," said Karen Parziale, a • Spice things up by adding who have large gardens put
and sound of running water without Feng Shui consultant and publisher elements with stone, adding the decorative fountains along the paths
maintaining a pond. A lot of people of therealestatestagingstudio.com. for added interest."
earth element. Granite also works
like them because they have toddlers Zen, a tenet of Buddhism with No matter how big or small you
nicely as a substitute.
and don't want to worry about them roots in Taoism, incorporates nature want it, a fountain or pond can be a
• For wood, a small Bonsai tree
around water. And kids love playing wonderful addition.
and meditation in its philosophy — makes a nice, though expensive,
in the waterfalls — that's a lot of fun "Water can be used in many ways
both of which are representative of addition. Other plant materials that
for them." on any scale — from large pools to
and in a Zen garden. Often, the work well are bamboo and grasses,
They are also fun and relaxing, wall fountains," Zuri said.
principles of Feng Shui, which uses a particularly mondo grass.
said garden expert, author and "Depending on the application, it
reverence for nature in design for So what are you waiting for? Put
television personality P. Allen Smith. "I can serve as a subtle accent or as
always look for ways to include water
both home and garden and also down that PDA and get started. ❏ part of the floor in a garden room,"
dates back to Taoism, are applied. — Creators News Service
in my designs. Since water is a source Smith said. "Water appeals to each of
of life, it carries a restorative power our senses, soothing us as we sit and
as a symbol of renewal." of spaces. A container, small pump, water. Most often they raise koi — listen to its movement."
Do-it-yourselfers can easily put source of electricity and plants are all hearty Japanese fish that can live Zuri agreed.
together a container garden that you need." year-round, even in cold "Water features add value to
includes a small fountain, according Any kind of pottery that will hold temperatures. property and they are just a great
to Smith. water works fine. Just be sure to add "Koi are great for ponds," Zuri way to de-stress," she said. "People
"You don't need a lot of room to plants that will thrive in both water said. "They will hibernate as long as sit out on their patio, listen to the
create a beautiful place to relax," he and soil. the water is 24 inches deep and you waterfall and watch the fish or
said. "The container garden is a Of course, some people not only keep a hole in the ice. All winter long whatever. It is so much better than
perfect example of how you can want a larger pond, but they also like you don't have to worry about them. sitting in front of the TV." ❏
enjoy a water fountain in the smallest the added interest of fish in their Koi live a long time and they do have — Creators News Service

22 SPACES | SCN COMMUNICATIONS GROUP


for what it’s worth
A look at what homes are listed in lakes area communities in the $200,000-$250,000 price range

Community: Clarkston Community: Milford Village Community: Waterford Community: Highland


Street Address: 6852 Wellesley Terrace Street Address: 708 Atlantic Street Address: 3141 Coventry Street Address: 1002 Woodruff Lake Dr.
Price: $204,900 Price: $209,900 Price: $210,000 Price: $219,900
Sq. Ft.: 1,457 Sq. Ft.: 1,700 Sq. Ft.: 1,725 Sq. Ft.: 1,600
Bedrooms: 3 Bedrooms: 4 Bedrooms: 3 Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 2 full Baths: 1 full; 1 half Baths: 2 full; 1 half Baths: 2 full
Garage: 2 car Garage: 2 car Garage: 2 car Garage: 2 car
Foundation: Finished walkout basement Foundation: Michigan Basement Foundation: Finished walkout basement Foundation: Finished basement
Heating: Forced Air Heating: Forced Air Heating: Forced Air Heating: Forced Air
Cooling: Central Air Cooling: Central Air Cooling: Central Air Cooling: Central Air
Exterior Features: Sprinkler system, Exterior Features: Deck, fenced Exterior Features: Porch, fenced Exterior Features: Shed, sprinklers
hot tub Description: Historic home with recent Description: Energy efficient all-sports Description: 200 ft. all-sports Charlick
Description: Gourmet kitchen with pantry. updates. Island kitchen opens to great lakefront home. Granite kitchen with Lakefront. Freshly painted inside and
Gorgeous interior with many updates. room. Walk to everything Milford Village cherry cabinets. Master suite with out. Open kitchen with eating area.
Cathedral ceilings. Gas fireplace. has to offer. cathedral ceilings. Fabulous lake views.
Agent: Tony Seagraves Agent: Mary Ann Wilson Agent: Bradley Jernigan Agent: Rob Sprader
Real Estate Firm: Remerica United, Novi Real Estate Firm: Real Estate One, Real Estate Firm: Century 21 Town & Real Estate Firm: Keller Williams,
Phone: 248.344.1800 Milford Country, Clarkston Commerce
Phone: 248.684.1065 Phone: 248.620.7200 Phone: 248.640.2680

Community: Walled Lake Community: Wixom Community: Commerce Community: West Bloomfield
Street Address: 2174 Maplehurst Street Address: 2375 Fairbury Street Address: 150 Bradley Street Street Address: 6787 Ravines Circle
Price: $219,900 Price: $239,900 Price: $239,900 Price: $250,000
Sq. Ft.: 1,376 Sq. Ft.: 1,987 Sq. Ft.: 2,564 Sq. Ft.: 2,445
Bedrooms: 2 Bedrooms: 4 Bedrooms: 4 Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2 full Baths: 3 full Baths: 2 full; 1 half Baths: 2 full; 1 half
Garage: 2 car Garage: 2 car Garage: 2 car Garage: 2 car
Foundation: Finished basement Foundation: Basement Foundation: Finished walkout basement Foundation: Finished basement
Heating: Forced Air Heating: Forced Air Heating: Forced Air Heating: Forced Air
Cooling: Central Air Cooling: Central Air Cooling: Central Air Cooling: Central Air
Exterior Features: Deck, grounds Exterior Features: Deck, fenced Exterior Features: Deck, fenced Exterior Features: Deck, sprinkler system
maintenance Description: Master suite with private Description: Huge family home with all Description: Two-story foyer with curved
Description: Perfect condo. Great room deck. Living room with fireplace. the bells and whistles! Walk-in pantry. oak staircase. Open family room with
with gas fireplace and skylights. First Hickory kitchen with snack bar. Lovely First floor laundry. Half acre. curved 2-story fireplace. What a
floor laundry. Show and sell! yard. Agent: Susi Gollinger winner!
Agent: Connie Mack Agent: Diane Wilson Real Estate Firm: Real Estate One Lakes, Agent: Melanie Bishop
Real Estate Firm: RE/MAX Property Real Estate Firm: Prudential Great Lakes, Commerce Real Estate Firm: Cranbrook GMAC,
Source, West Bloomfield Commerce Phone: 248.363.8300 Franklin
Phone: 248.669.7400 Phone: 248.420.3120 Phone: 248.626.8700

SUMMER 2009 | SPACES 23


TIME TO CHILL OUT
MAKING SURE HOMESTEAD REMAINS COOL THIS SUMMER
TAKES A LITTLE BIT OF THOUGHT AND EFFORT

K
eeping your home cool in the summer isn't as easy as it sounds. But when
accomplished, it can help homeowners use their energy more efficiently, save
money, and sleep well at night.
Central air conditioners are split systems that are passing indoor air across a refrigerant coil in the the outside of the coils and is carried away through a
comprised of an outdoor unit (the condensing unit) indoor unit. Lines then carry the heat to the outdoor drain.
and an indoor unit (air handler). The function of an unit, where it is released to the outside air. The One of the most important ways to maintain an
air conditioner is to transport heat from one station to cooling cycle continues until the indoor temperature efficient air conditioning or central air system is to
another. The vehicle your system uses to carry the reaches the thermostat setting. have the system checked by a qualified professional in
heat is called a refrigerant, commonly referred to as While it's keeping you cool, an air conditioner also the spring, according to Ryan Bierl of First Heating
Freon. works as an effective dehumidifier. As warm air and Cooling in White Lake Township. He said that's
Air conditioners cool a home by removing heat passes over the indoor evaporator coil, it can no because there are proper ways to charge such a
from the indoor air and transferring that heat to the longer hold as much moisture as it carried at its system that include the use of mathematical equations
outdoor air. This heat is extracted from the home by higher temperature. The extra moisture condenses on that many homeowners may not be aware of.
A qualified professional can also ensure that a themselves must remember not to cut any structural
house's SEER (seasonal energy efficient rating) is at members.
its proper level. A higher SEER number will help Windows that aren't shaded from the sun are
homeowners save money on their summer air prime candidates for reflective solar film. Installing
conditioning bills while maintaining a cool interior. solar film is a relatively easy do-it-yourself job. It
"Using a reputable contractor really is the biggest requires use of a tape measure, a razor or knife, and
thing," Bierl said. "You want a contractor that you a squeegee. Pay special attention to windows facing
can put your faith and trust into." east and west.
Another way a professional can help ensure your There are several other steps that homeowners
interior stays cool is to use a condensing box, can take to keep their house cool and efficient and
refrigeration line (made of copper) and cooling coil their energy bills lowers in the summer.
that are made by the same company, and therefore Fans and Ceiling Fans
designed to fit together. Bierl said some A ceiling fan remains a great investment, as it
refrigeration lines and cooling coils that contractors can make a room feel 6 or 7 degrees cooler,
use are generic, and while these products do work, Matheson said. He estimates that top-of-the-line
they may result in less-effective results. ceiling fans that run 12 hours per day cost less than
For example, the cooling factor, defined as the $10 a month. High-quality fans make it possible to
temperature difference between the air inside a raise thermostat settings and save on air-
house and the air being released outside, should be conditioning costs. Ceiling fans are best, but a good
at or a few degrees above 20 F, according to Bierl. portable fan can be very effective, as well, since mild
Even a difference of 2 to 3 degrees can make a air movement of 1 mph can make a room feel 3 to 4
noticeable difference in your energy bill throughout degrees cooler.
the course of a warm summer. Reduce Internal Heat
Michael Matheson, Jr., owner of Matheson The most common sources of internal heat gain
Heating & Air Conditioning in Commerce Township, are appliances, electronic devices, and lighting. As a
said the outdoor unit in particular should be free result, homeowners shouldn't put lamps, televisions or
from any grass clippings, dirt or other debris. A that air is being released into the basement, where it other heat-generating appliances next to their air-
third-generation family business owner, Matheson will be naturally cooler. Adjusting these dampers conditioning thermostat, because the heat from these
said homeowners can rinse off the outdoor unit properly can also push more cool air upstairs, which appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer.
themselves with a garden hose. Matheson said can be difficult in a two-story home. Unless they are absolutely needed, it's
However, some of the indoor and outdoor coils "Once you get good air flow moving upstairs, it recommended that homeowners turn off
often require special cleaning, something a qualified will naturally filter downward to the rest of the incandescent lights and heat-generating appliances.
professional can do. An average spring air house," he said. These incandescent bulbs should be replaced with
conditioning inspection costs around $75 and Those are some steps that can be taken to keep compact fluorescents. And when cooking,
should result in a cost savings well over that based the cool air in, but just as important is keeping the homeowners should use their range fan to vent the
on the fact that a high-functioning system will be warm air out, according to Bierl. One way to hot air out of the house. By reducing the amount of
more efficient and less costly for the homeowner. accomplish this is by replacing weather stripping and heat that exists in a home, less energy will be
"We have special equipment to clean the indoor caulking around windows, doors and other areas to required to cool it.
coils, which the homeowner can't get to," Matheson improve the efficiency of an air conditioning unit. Plants
said. Bierl said blinds, curtains and drapes should be It's advisable to plant trees or shrubs to shade air
From a technical aspect, homeowners should closed to keep out the sun's heat, especially on the conditioning units without blocking the airflow. A
clean or replace air conditioning filters at least once south and west sides of a house. In the evening, unit operating in the shade uses less electricity.
a month. Dirty filters and coils can drastically reduce opening drapes and shades lets heat escape through Deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides
the efficiency of a system. For every degree a the glass. In this way homeowners can keep the will keep your house cool in the summer and allow
homeowner raises his or her thermostat setting sun's heat out and help fans or air conditioners cool the sunlight to warm the house during the winter.
above 72 degrees, they will save 5 to 7 percent on more efficiently. For example just three trees properly placed
cooling costs. It can be advantageous to use white window around a house can save between $100 and $250
Using an automated thermostat is beneficial but blinds instead of darker colors. White reflects light annually in cooling and heating costs, and daytime
homeowners can also manually adjust the and heat, while dark colors absorb them. air temperatures can be 3 degrees to 6 degrees
temperature settings. It's recommended that Attic temperatures sometimes rise up to 140 cooler in tree-shaded neighborhoods.
homeowners turn their thermostat to 76 degrees or degrees during the summer months, so proper attic Other Things to Remember
higher at night, or an average of 4 to 5 degrees ventilation will lower the temperature and reduce Avoid landscaping with lots of unshaded rock,
higher than it is set at during the day, Matheson said. cooling requirements inside a home. In addition, cement, or asphalt on the south or west sides of a
"The key is that you want your system to always homeowners should make sure crawl spaces are house because those things increase the
be on throughout the summer, because it will then adequately ventilated. Poor ventilation will add to temperature around the house and radiate heat to
be better able to dehumidify your house," he said. your summer cooling costs. It also traps moisture in the house after the sun has set.
"Plus, if you turn your central air on and off, it will your attic, making insulation less effective. Close the fireplace damper, if applicable.
be more costly because it takes a lot of energy to Upgrading attic insulation from 3 to 12 inches If possible, use an exhaust fan to pull the hot air
restart the system and this it is actually more can cut cooling costs by 10 percent, according to outside your living space.
expensive." the experts. Paying close attention to attic insulation "Outside of your system there are many other
Homeowners who haven't yet turned on their air can save up to 30 percent of your overall cooling steps you can take to keep your house cool and
conditioning systems should do so about a day or bill. more efficient," Bierl said. "Every little bit helps."” ❏
two before the first really warm day, or when they Roof and attic ventilators help by allowing hot air — Mike Scott
feel they will need it, according to Matheson. to escape and cooler outside air to enter. With RESOURCES
"Air conditioning your home is not like using it in proper air flow an attic shouldn't be any warmer • Ryan Bierl, 1st Heating and Cooling
your car — it takes more than a few minutes to than the outside air. Adding roof and attic 248-887-3636
warm up," he said. ventilators and fans is not a job for the average • Michael Matheson, Matheson Heating and Cooling
Dampers should also be adjusted in the home so homeowner, but those who do tackle the project 248.363.4868

SUMMER 2009 | SPACES 25


Let the cash grow
Pinch your pennies by finding multiple uses for your plants
C
reating and nurturing a garden they're going to come back every
requires not only an investment
of your time and passion.
Inspiration for environments, manmade and natural.
Uyterhoeven believes the most
year," he said.
Growing food at home is also a
Happily, there are dozens of tips for garden ideas poignant inspiration comes from
looking at your own neighborhood
popular trend. As summer approaches,
saving money while watching your put in a few tomato plants, some
garden grow — and many won't cost are all around and the surrounding public gardens.
Through careful observation of one's
squash and some herbs. Not only will
you a penny. you save money on your food bill, but
"Do your research. Smart garden
planning makes it easier and more A s with any work of art, all you
need is a little inspiration to get
started in your garden. Often the
immediate environment, a new
gardener discovers which plants will
if you haven't experienced the flavor of
a homegrown tomato, you're in for a
enjoyable for you as a gardener," said thrive in their garden. treat.
Jeff Downing, an expert in botanical hardest part of beginning is weeding Uyterhoeven's advice: "Look for "If you don't have much land,
through the possibilities. the plants that are performing well. consider using window boxes or
"Because inspiration is really You can open up a catalog and see a pots," Downing said.
everywhere, sometimes it becomes beautiful plant, but if it doesn't grow Large plastic garden pots can be
overwhelming as there are so many in your region, for a beginner it purchased inexpensively. Or you can
things we like that it becomes would be extremely frustrating." reuse five- and 10-gallon containers
difficult to make a start," said Jamie And while flower gardens are from past plant purchases to grow
Durie, landscaping expert and host of beautiful, don't forget your veggies. tomatoes and other veggies. It's also
the upcoming HGTV program, "HGTV A vegetable garden is, according useful if you are renting and don't
Showdown." to Uyterhoeven, "something that want to invest in permanent
It's one of the issues that Sonia many people identify with." vegetation.
Uyterhoeven, a gardening educator, Here are some of Uyterhoeven Go green in a big way by learning
aims to resolve. She helps people and Durie's best tips on harnessing how to compost, turning food waste
find the motivation they need to the inspiration you need to get and garden clippings into rich soil. You
move forward. started in the garden: save money on planting mix, mulch
"Most people come in and give a • Keep things simple. Start small and fertilizer. Go online and search
There are myriad ways to reuse your sigh of relief and say, 'Here's a and build on your design, gradually "composting" for information for how-
garden in order to save money, such garden where I can actually do some adding more complex plants over to information and classes in your area.
as giving extra orchids as gifts to of these things,'" Uyterhoeven said. time. In the same vein, look into organic
friends and relatives. Durie, who hails from Australia, • Know your limits. How much remedies for insect repellents that are
finds that many of his clients are time will you be dedicating to your not only safe but inexpensive.
education. "There are lots of plants inspired by their vacations. garden? Certain plants take a lot of Patience can also save you money.
that don't require huge amounts of "When people take a break effort to help them grow. "This year I'm seeing greater sales
time or money to care for. Local somewhere, it's that feeling of • Take a "functional analysis." in seeds and seedlings," Palafox said.
garden centers and nurseries have relaxation and rejuvenation that Determine what you and your family Gardeners are also looking at
very knowledgeable plant experts. inspires them to try and recreate that fruiting trees.
want or need from the garden, and
Ask questions if you're not sure what in their own homes," he said. "People are buying more edible
shape your design based on these
to plant. Don't be intimidated. Across The thing to keep in mind: When trees than ornamental today. They
elements.
the board they are passionate about look good in gardens and you have
it comes to gardening, inspiration • Do your homework. Research
plants and more than willing to give something you can eat," he added.
can be found anywhere. techniques, buy a book on gardening
you ideas in your price range." When it comes to selecting larger
"We need only open our eyes," or take a continuing education class.
"We welcome all questions," plants such as trees, it's your budget
said Durie, who keeps a "diary of • Don't be afraid to experiment,
agreed Fausto Palafox, a nursery vs. maturity. You always pay a
ideas" using his camera to capture take some risks and try new
owner. "As independent nurserymen, premium for size.
scenes, settings, patterns, landscapes products and tools. ❏ "The maples, birches and
our claim to fame is to educate." and plants from a variety of — Creators News Service
You can also always "Ask the sycamores, popular in gardens around
Experts" online at the New York the country, generally cost $25 to
Botanical Garden, nybg.org. existing plants, you increase the bound, he divides and replants them $30 in a five-gallon container and will
"A plant information team will be number of plants you have. into smaller containers and gives take about two years to reach the size
able to provide you with competent Geraniums and iris are just two them as gifts. His living orchids not of one in a 15-gallon container,"
answers for any region in the examples of plants that thrive when only make a personal and thoughtful Palafox said. "But you'll pay from $70
country," Downing said. divided. If you don't have any of them present, they cost nothing. to $80 for the larger tree."
Armed with a general plan, there in your garden, chances are your Populating your outdoor space Forego instant gratification. Within
are numerous cost-saving tips that friends and neighbors are willing to with perennials is another budgeting a few years, few can differentiate
savvy gardeners can use to keep share. trick. between landscapes of the big
within budget. Downing grows orchids as a "Perennials tend to be hardy, spender and the patient gardener. ❏
When you divide and propagate hobby. When they get rangy and pot require little effort and expense and — Creators News Service

26 SPACES | SCN COMMUNICATIONS GROUP


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SUMMER 2009 | SPACES 27


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