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Archives for March 5, 2014

3D printing gives new life to garden design

Sarah Eberle, Adam Frost and Jo Thompson, three of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Best in Show winners, are among the 10 leading garden designers taking part
in the project.

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Eye of the Day Garden Design Center Announces the Launch of Its New Blog …

  • Email a friend

Carpinteria, California (PRWEB) March 04, 2014

As part of its social media and online revamp, Eye of the Day Garden Design Center announces the release of its newly redesigned blog called Eye on the Garden.

The blog, which has been online since the year 2010, regularly features four writers, owners Brent Freitas and Suzi Freitas; Sarah Kinbar Ristorcelli, and Virginia Hayes. Categories include the following: Adventure, Edibles, Fountains, Garden Décor, Good Times, Landscape Architecture, Planters/Pots/and Containers, and Plants. The platform showcases the staffs’ personal insight into styling gardens, and takes a deeper dig into the personality of the design center that’s beloved by locals and by bigger names that include Tommy Bahama, Ralph Lauren, DIY Network, and more.

The blog offers information that the average gardener would not be privy to – for instance, as detailed in the latest blog post by Brent, “Just Say Yes to Rocco Italian Terra Cotta“. In it, Brent explained why Rocco Italian terracotta is so coveted by industry garden design gurus and landscape architects in that the clay can withstand extremes in high temperatures as well as low. For this reason, Eye of the Day prefers to sell products of Galestro clay, which is sourced from Tuscany and produced by Colorobbia of Montelupo, providing durability and a specific high quality composition of mineral content.

“I want my customers to see that we not only sell the best products, but we also stand behind them, and for good reason. I travel to find the best products, and I’ve done my research. Home accessories, for indoor or outdoor use, really make a house a home,” says Brent, “and speak to our motto ‘Paradise at Home.’”

In addition to the updated blog interface, the Santa Barbara Garden Design Center is also re-launching its once active newsletter, Daisy’s Dirty Words, now in e-newsletter form. Customers and interested individuals can sign up for the newsletter online with their email, and get the latest news, specials, and tips-of-the-gardening trade sent right to their email inbox, in both desktop and mobile compatibility form.

“The blog, as well as Eye of the Day, is named for our daughter, Daisy, old English for “Day’s Eye”, the flower resembling the sun. We understand the enthusiasm of die-hard gardeners because we’re the same way,” concluded Brent. “It’s what makes us, us. It’s why I get up every day near 5 a.m., before the sun, to get a jump start on the day.”

For more information about Eye of the Day’s blog and other social media, visit

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Professional garden design models made by a 3D printer

5:50pm, Wed 5 Mar 2014

– last updated Wed 5 Mar 2014

  • And Finally

With Spring in sight and dry, warm weekend ahead many of us will to venturing back into the garden for the first time this year.

If you’re planning a major overhaul but struggling to visualize it you could be jealous of new technology on display at the Strand Gallery.

These professional garden design models haven’t been built, they’ve been 3D printed.

. Credit: ITV News

It’s quite a strange experience because today literally this moment is the first time I’ve seen the garden in reality which is strange because usually as you’re building a garden you can see it from ground up so this is very strange but it’s great it’s great that you can see something that you haven’t had to build and you turn up and it’s there.

– Jamie Dunstan, landscape designer

Original 3D printers work like an standard inkjet printer – except they also add height on every run. But new technology is even more advanced.

. Credit: ITV News

One of the most exciting things about the new 3D printers is that they can support structures which seem to float with no struts underneath.

. Credit: ITV News

Well it builds them layer by layer on top of each other these layers glue to each other. Because it’s moving down a layer every time it builds up the powder that’s lying around it doesn’t glue acts as a support and this is an amazing technology because once we remove it out of the printer we just blow off all the excess powder which is the support and we are left with the model at the end.

– Michelle Greeff, Hobs 3D

. Credit: ITV News

Complex designs like this gardens can be printed in 6 hours – far quicker that glueing, sticking and decorating hand made models. According to landscape designer Sarah Eberle the potential is endless:

I think it’s enormous. There are so many people who find it so hard to visualise that it’s great for presentations for clients, you know I think it’s the way we will go.

. Credit: ITV News

For now the technology remains relatively niche and expensive – but 3D printing has big plans for the future.

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Police blotter: stolen laptop, thieved DVD player

Someone broke into a vehicle parked on the 1800 block of Oregon Avenue and stole a backpack containing a laptop computer and a hard drive worth about $580. The crime was reported at 9:42 a.m. Monday.


A man on the 200 block of Arizona Street reported at noon Monday that someone stole a DVD player from his home. Police found no signs of forced entry.


Someone crashed their vehicle into landscaping timbers at the corner of Utah and Front streets sometime over the weekend. The issue was reported to police Monday afternoon.

Copyright 2014 Montana Standard. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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More News stories

  • UPDATED: Missing Butte man found today

    UPDATED: Missing Butte man found today

  • Coroner IDs man found behind mall, looking for family

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North Iowa Home and Landscaping Show featured exhibitors


Advanced Door Systems specializes in the installation and service of residential, commercial and industrial overhead doors. The company is an authorized distributor for Raynor, C.H.I. Linear and Liftmaster.

To better serve North West Iowa, Advances Door Systems has offices in Forest City, Fort Dodge and Spencer. Whether you need a new door or service for your current door, the company has a professional staff eager to assist you. It also carries Val6 Heater and Dakota Grills.

Advanced Door Systems offers “The right door the right way.”

Visit the Forest City location at 605 East J Street, Suite 100, call 641-585-1900 or toll-free 866-590-1592. For more information visit


Bergland Cram’s commitment to custom home design stems from the company’s long-standing dedication to generate creative yet practical solutions that best suit the needs of you and your family. The team is made up of devoted professionals including licensed architects, interior designers and LEED AP’s.

BC has built its practice on the importance of client relationships and takes pride in the way in which it celebrates every step of the design process.

Working both locally and regionally, BC has custom homes under construction across Iowa and in several surrounding states.

Stop by and visit the company at the Home Show to see the most recent projects. Craftsman, contemporary, Cape Cod and Prairie Style homes are currently underway or recently completed.


Rick Titus of Clarion started his business, The Country Store, in 1975, and even though he has now moved into town, he has no intention of retiring any time soon.

Titus sells and installs Fuego Flame fireplace inserts, which he believes are the most efficient inserts on the market for the money. The company makes four different-sized inserts, but when Titus found a fireplace with an unusual shape he decided to make the inserts from scratch.

The Fuego Flame fireplace inserts can make any fireplace burn up to 70 percent efficient and need no electricity, while keeping 99 percent of the heat in the home. Once the insert is installed, the average fireplace can heat 1,000 to 1,500 square feet of a well-insulated home.

For those who can’t or don’t wish to burn wood, Titus offers super-efficient gas logs as an option. He started selling these in 1991. They offer the same nice flame effect, but without the work and cleanup from real wood.

Titus has built and installed units in fireplaces from Minneapolis to Kansas City and all over Iowa and does all the work himself. He doesn’t charge for estimates and feels an in-home visit is the only way to know exactly what the customer needs.

Titus has even thought of people who like to cook over a wood fire and has developed a barbeque grill that will fit.

Contact Rick at The Country Store for more information. Calls can be made to either 515-532-3881 or 515-293-2455. The website is


Custom Seamless Guttering is the longest-running gutter company in North Iowa. Since 1982 the company has provided service and quality second to none.

Owner Keith Main and his crew strive to use the latest and best products available, such as Leaf Proof brand gutter covers. Leaf Proof is guaranteed to make gutters maintenance-free.

The company runs two residential and one commercial gutter trucks. Their specialties are metal and commercial buildings.

Call Keith at 641-357-5959 for a free estimate.


The Duct Doctor wants Home Show attendees to know that he does make house calls.

Operator Dan Versteeg said his company does residential and light commercial heating and cooling air duct cleaning as well as dryer vent cleaning.

The method used by the Duct Doctor is known as the source removal method, which is considered the most thorough. Every inch of your ductwork is washed and swept with high pressure air. Just as you would sweep your kitchen floor, source removal physically sweeps your air ducts from one end to the other, depositing dirt, dust and debris in the triple-filtered (including HEPA) vacuum.

Versteeg has added carpet cleaning to his company for an effective cleaning combination for a healthier and cleaner home.

Versteeg will have literature as well as a video demonstration in his booth at the Home Show. Stop by and learn what a difference the two services can make in the air quality of your home or office.

Attendees who schedule their air duct or carpet cleaning at the Duct Doctor booth will receive a Home Show special discount.


First Citizens National Bank understands the importance of finding the best financing option to make your dream home a reality.

Choosing a home is one of the biggest investment decisions your family may make during your lifetime. First Citizens has a variety of real estate loan solutions to fit your needs, from first-time home buyers, fixed-rate and variable-rate loans to VA or USDA loans.

The bank’s real estate loan experts will be glad to work one-on-one to help determine which financing program suits your needs.

New this year is the ability to apply online for home loans. Borrowers can also check rates and terms and apply at their own convenience.

The application can be found at First Citizens’ website, Click on “Home Loan Center” in the Quick Links section, and click on ”Apply Now” to begin the process.

Now may be an excellent time to consider refinancing. Apply online or stop in to see one of the home loan experts for more information.

First Citizens National Bank has locations in Mason City, Charles City, New Hampton, Alta Vista, Osage, Clarion, Kanawha and Latimer. Hours and locations can be found online at

First Citizens National Bank is an Equal Housing Lender, and is Member FDIC insured.


Hanson’s Countertops and Flooring owner Kurt Hanson has been in the countertop business for seven years.

After building laminate countertops for three years, people started asking him about concrete resurfacing of existing countertops. Hanson became a certified Granicrete installer four years ago and started his own business.

In the tri-state area he has provided many kitchen and bathroom countertops along with resurfacing home and garage floors. The weight of Granicrete countertops is comparable to laminate, which is much lighter than real marble and granite.

Customers achieve an elegant look at an affordable cost for interior and exterior remodeling or updating. Flooring, driveways, sidewalks, pool decks, patios and garage floors can look like tile, wood, slate, travertine or flagstone. Showers and baths look like tile, travertine or stone.

All countertops are custom made and the decorative color and texture are one of a kind. There are more than 60 colors and multiple edge designs to choose from for your home or business project, and colors can be mixed to meet special project needs. They can also be made to glow in the dark for safety.

Countertops are resurfaced with a 1/8-inch concrete overlay and epoxy. They are bacteria resistant, take indirect heat up to 500 degrees F, are seamless, do not need to be sealed and are stain-resistant. The color will never fade and they are Radon-free.

Call for a free estimate or visit Hanson at the Home Show. Visit the website for pictures and testimonials at Phone is 641-424-5354 or 641-903-9366. Email is


Home Lumber Builders Inc., a family owned business started by Ken Bothwell in 1965, is still going strong today. Ken passed ownership onto his two sons, Scott and Steve Bothwell, who ran the business for 20 years. Cousins Carl Bothwell and Matt Anderson are now third-generation owners and have had ownership since 2007.

Running the business is now second nature for the cousins. Carl started full time in 1999 and Matt followed in 2001. “We started at a young age and had some great mentors over the years,” said Carl.

“We take a lot of pride in continuing the family business” said Matt. Their uncle, Steve Bothwell, is recently retired and Scott is still doing the accounting for the business.

Home Lumber Builders is a retail lumber yard, selling lumber, windows, doors, siding, cabinets, gas fireplaces and a variety of miscellaneous building materials. Some of the major brands include Marvin Windows and Doors, Andersen Windows, Hayfield Window and Door, Taylor Doors, Certainteed Siding, James Hardie Siding, Starmark Cabinetry, Heat-N-Glo Fireplaces, Boulder Creek Stone and Owens Corning Insulation.

What the firm offers today is high quality building materials at a competitive price and a very high level of customer service. The services offered include plan drawing, material estimating and prompt delivery.

Home Lumber Builders Inc. is located at 716 S. Jefferson in Mason City. Call 641-424-4001 for any of your building needs.


Iowa Wall Sawing offers a service that many people probably know little about until the service is needed.

The company’s primary service is sawing and cutting concrete. From egress windows in basements to doorways for home additions, Iowa Wall Sawing is the company to contact.

Owner Denny Sprague said his company also does commercial work with hydraulic and electric equipment.

On new lots when a home is built, Iowa Wall Sawing can cut curbs and do bevels.

A homeowner favorite is the start-to-finish egress installations in basement foundations (basement escape windows). These windows not only give access out of your basement if there is a fire, they also let in a lot of light, making the basement a much more livable, enjoyable area.

Adding a window to the basement for a bedroom can add significantly to the resale value of your home. Sprague said, “We look at it as adding safety and value to your home in a day.”

A new feature Iowa Wall Sawing has to offer homeowners is Poly Lift, Polyurethane Concrete Lifting, raising sunken driveways, porches, patios and foundations.

Iowa Wall Sawing has been in business for more than 30 years, with more than 100 years combined work experience. The phone number is 800-717-4577. Visit the web site for more valuable detailed information.


Johnson Heating Air Conditioning LLC invites you to the North Iowa Home Show to see what it can do about high L.P. and utilities costs.

The company handles everything from 97 percent gas furnaces, air-to-air heat pumps and or geothermal heat pumps.

Johnson also installs boilers,standard tank style water heaters, tankless water heaters and infloor heating for new homes or remodeling.

Maybe your home has some indoor air quality needs like a simple upgraded air filtration, UV light or a humidifier to keep your home feeling warmer and comfortable.

Don’t forget that warm weather is just around the corner. If you have any questions on air conditioning go see them at Booth A72 A73.


Established in 1989 in Clear Lake, Kramer Ace Hardware is a family-owned and operated business.

Kramer Ace Hardware will be featuring Snapper and Country Clipper mowers. Weber grills and accessories will also be on display.

Hot new styles of outdoor living furniture will also be featured. For the ultimate in relaxation, come and check out the all-new Banana Swing!

Kramer Ace Hardware is a full-service hardware store with locations in Clear Lake at 580 Highway 18 E, in Garner at 150 Highway 18 W and in Mason City at 440 S. Illinois Ave.


Marquart Concrete Products, 1714 Fourth Ave. S. (on old Hwy. 106), Clear Lake, manufactures both solid and blended colors of Rock Face Block units for commercial and residential use. Marquart Concrete also manufactures solid and blended colors of landscaping products for retaining walls, court yards, patios and edging.

Lighting is an exciting addition to your outdoor projects, accenting the features of your home, trees, bushes, landscaping and water features with amazing effects.

Homeowners are invited to visit the booth and build ideas for outdoor living space and also obtain ideas for the facing of your new home or addition with brick, natural stone or manufactured stone for both interior and exterior use.

Visit Marquart Concrete Products outdoor displays any time and check the website for idea starters at


Mason City Roofing is third-generation family owned since 1933. Ernie Edmond, Minon Hank, Derrick Marina, Sandy Dese and Wendy Noah say they are proud of their workmanship and quality materials used in roofing, siding, windows and gutters.

The company is a GAF Master-Elite contractor for shingles in which the Timberline HD Series and up are lifetime shingles. There are several styles to choose from including shakes-like, tile, diamond point and slate look.

The company uses top-of-the-line accessories and makes sure maximum ventilation is achieved.

In the commercial and industrial roofing Mason City Roofing is an applicator of Duro-Last Roofing, a custom prefabricated single-ply. There are many colors and designs to choose from, and the entire system includes metal detail and has a 15-year total system warranty.

The company is also an applicator of Neogard Coating and urethane foam for metal, concrete, BUR and single-ply roof systems. There is a 10-year renewable total system warranty, and in most cases it is considered maintenance, not re-roofing.

Mason City Roofing is a master contractor with mastic siding, with various profiles and accessories to choose. Other products include Quality Edge Soffit and Fascia products; Tamko Envisions bonded composite decking and railing; Westbury aluminum railing; TRX and Polyrail products; and Quality Edge inside/outside for underneath exposed porches.

The company also installs commercial gutters with open-face downspouts, seamless gutters with larger downspouts and hinged flip-up extensions where needed. There will be a display this year of the company’s gutter protection cover.


Midwest Construction, 1601 S. Taft Ave., Mason City, is a family-owned and operated company specializing in exterior home improvements.

Founded in Mason City by Alex P. Despenas in 1958, the home improvement company now has showrooms and warehouses in Mason City and Grimes. Training for working in the business includes learning how to make an accurate estimate in the first visit.

The company offers Uni-Frame Custom Built replacement windows that are energy-efficient and maintenance-free. Also offered are American Classic insulated vinyl siding, Oasis all-season and three-season sunrooms, seamless gutter system and eaves and overhang products and installation.

An addition to the siding product line, Apex has the absolute lowest cost of ownership for any exterior siding product. Apex delivers performance that beats wood, steel, fiber cement and polymeric cladding.

Paul Despenas, VP of marketing, explains that quality products and quality installation are what the company focuses on and that will be the focus for generations to come.

Over the years, Midwest Construction has been able to build relationships with national manufacturers that concentrate on building products with thermal performance and longevity to ensure homeowners a product that will last the life of the home.

If you have home improvement plans in the future, the Home Show is a great place to get started. Stop by and visit the booth and “See the Midwest Construction difference for yourselves.” If you can’t make the Home Show, visit the showroom or online at


Midwest Organics is a local manufacturer of worm castings, a high quality fertilizer made by worms that is able to be applied to almost anything with a root.

According to company owner Jay Burgardt, worm casting fertilizer is known to rejuvenate worn-out soil and increases both plant growth and yield.

The world’s “finest natural fertilizer,” or “black gold,” as some experts on soil will tell you, out-performs most other fertilizers because it is made by earthworms. Worm castings are a living fertilizer containing many beneficial microorganisms.

Nutrients include nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and many beneficial enzymes and bacteria.

Along with the worm castings, Midwest Organics will be showcasing Potting Soil Plus, a high-end potting soil consisting of organic peat moss enhanced with earthworm castings.

To learn more visit the wbesite at


Since 1997 Mystic Wonders Inc. from Holstein has been introducing Wonder Laundry Balls to consumers all across the nation. Consumers who purchase one, even though they might be a bit hesitant, say they love them and all the benefits of using them.

Farmers and acreage owners like the idea of not adding any more detergents that clog up the septic tank field, and the fact that using the Wonder Ball takes away all organic odors from their clothing. Imagine soft, fluffy absorbent bath towels naturally soft with no chemicals.

Imagine no more itch from your undergarments. Imagine a better water table. The average laundry room puts 100 pounds of chemicals a year in the water table.

The Laundry Ball has years of use and really saves you money. It saves on the wear and tear of your washing machine, too. Your washer and dryer will last years longer.

This company has many products that are good for the home and your body. The Goat Milk soap with Pascalite clay is one of the products that consumers rave about.

Stop by the booth and see the products and perhaps pick up a trial size of the Goat Milk soap — 200 will be given away. Laundry Balls are specially priced for this Home Show. The company will have many products this year along with wooden frogs and pigs.

More information is available on the website, Phone is 712-368-2760. Order line is 888-452-4968.


North Central Mechanical Services was founded in 2010 by Nathan Bartels, a graduate of Mason City High School.

Bartels graduated from the North Iowa Area Community College in 1998 from the climate control technology program. He has 18 years experience in the field.

North Central Mechanical Services works with both commercial and residential customers. In addition to commercial refrigeration, heating, cooling and ventilation, the company also does duct cleaning, backflow installation and inspection, preventive maintenance, plumbing and custom sheet metal work.

The company has purchased a new building in Mason City at 2601 15th St. S.W. and is currently moving in. The shop has already moved and the office will move next month. In the meantime, the office is still located at 1411 S. Taft Avenue.

Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but the experienced 10-member staff is available anytime.

Telephone is 641-424-4828; email is; fax is 641-201-1502.


North Iowa Lawn Service is a small locally-owned company that offers a more personalized approach to your lawn care.

Quality of work is the company’s top priority. It is the goal of North Iowa Lawn Service that your lawn looks great and that you are a satisfied customer.


NSC has many products and services for siding, windows, roofing and doors.

“At NSC we value and respect our clients and their properties,” said owner Jason Adams. The locally-owned business prides itself on working clean and fast without compromising quality, and on helping homeowners reach their home improvement goals.

NSC offers vinyl siding, hardy board, window and door wrap, window and door installation and decks. All size jobs are welcome for new or old construction at very competitive rates, said Adams, who has 15 years experience in the trade.

Phone number is 641-210-0556. Email is


Northland Buildings is a post-frame construction company specializing in garages, agricultural storage and commercial buildings. Whether it’s for the home, farm or business, Northland has the answer to your building needs, offering beautiful and affordable solutions for any building.

Established in 1994 in Eau Claire, Wis., Northland Buildings is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Northland’s 20 years of quality materials and construction experience have resulted in many satisfied customers all over the Midwest. The business has expanded to cover all of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Northern Illinois, Upper Michigan and North and South Dakota. The corporate office and distribution center is located in Eau Claire, Wis.

Northland’s goal is to provide the best quality building at a fair price to customers. Experienced sales staff, building crews, engineering, purchasing, office support and transportation department are all committed to the building project from start to finish. Staff and crews go that extra mile to make sure buildings are designed and built with superior workmanship at a price within budget.

Whether it’s a simple machine shed or workshop to a large ag building, horse barn, garage, or other storage building, Northland’s experienced sales consultants work with you to design and build exactly what you need within your budget.

For more information or a free estimate call 800-736-4510 or visit the new website at


Pella Corporation is a leader in designing, testing, manufacturing and installing quality windows and doors for new construction, remodeling and replacement applications.

As a family-owned and professionally managed privately held company, Pella is known for its 87-year history of making innovative products, providing quality service and delivering on customer satisfaction. Headquartered in Pella, the company is committed to incorporating new technologies, increasing productivity and practicing environmental stewardship to create satisfied customers.

Pella manufactures quality windows, patio doors and entry door systems sold through a direct sales network operating Pella Window Door Showrooms across the United States.

For more information call 888-847-3552 or visit Follow Pella on @ Pella News, on Facebook at and on You Tube at


Habitat’s ReStore is North Iowa’s premier home improvement discount outlet. The ReStore is open to the public and provides area homeowners and businesses with new and gently used products at affordable prices.

All inventory sold at the ReStore is donated by contractors, businesses and the public to support the work of Habitat for Humanity of North Central Iowa. Merchandise includes furniture, sinks, cabinets, toilets, countertops, carpet, tile, vanities, light fixtures, home décor, appliances, hardware, paint, windows, doors and more. There is also a consignment section of new crown molding of various woods and quantities.

The ReStore also helps the environment by diverting reusable building materials from area landfills. Donors may benefit by avoiding landfill fees and by receiving a tax deduction on contributions.

The ReStore is located at 517 First St. N.W. in Mason City. Store hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Habitat for Humanity is a not-for-profit ecumenical Christian housing ministry that works with local families in need to provide them with simple, decent and affordable housing. Habitat raises the money needed to build the homes, and then sells them to families through zero percent interest loans. Mortgage payments are then used to help other families.

To find out how to become a donor or volunteer with Habitat, or to apply for a current home opportunity in Mason City, Clear Lake or Hampton, visit or call 641-424-8978. Questions for the ReStore can be directed to 641-423-1688.

Items from the ReStore will be displayed at the Home Show.


For the past few years the River City Society For Historic Preservation’s booth has promoted the production of locally produced stone, cement and quarried stone.

This year the focus will be on the creative architects who used these materials to construct memorable residential and commercial buildings.

One of Mason City’s more famous early creative architects was E.R. Bogardus. He designed many of Mason City’s early residential and commercial structures as well as buildings for nearby communities. His work will be the primary focus of the society’s booth this year.

Many of the homes located on Mason City’s East State Street are Bogardus creations, as are many of the homes that border the downtown area. Historic photos on his work will be on display, as well as elevations of the homes and commercial buildings he designed. Some of his blueprints will also be available. Like most architects, he designed structures that were never built. Maps of early Mason City will also be featured.

Much of this material is being provided by the Mason City Archive Department of the Mason City Public Library.

The River City Society for Historic Preservation is dedicated to the study and preservation of all aspects of Mason City’s historic architecture.

The greatest achievement to date is the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Stockman House and its operation as a tourist attraction and the building of the Mason City Architectural Interpretive Center, a gateway to the varied architectural wonders of Mason City.

Memberships in the Society will be available at the Home Show. Make a visit to the RCSHP booth this year.


St. Ansgar Plumbing Heating Inc. offers the Central Boiler outdoor wood furnace. Eliminate your LP bill by installing a Central Boiler.

The Central Boiler comes in several sizes depending on the size of the unit you need. One unit can heat more than one building. The Central Boiler can also heat your domestic water and hot tub. Central Boiler is made in Minnesota.

Dan and Wanda Warrington want you to stop by the Home Show to take a look at the Central Boiler outdoor wood furnace at Booth A35-A36.


Silver Creek Hardwood Floors in Spillville, Iowa, provides custom work on wood floors in several states, including Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

The family-owned business was started 10 years ago by Shawn Leppert, who said he has a background from “being a farm boy” and working with hardwood. The company has a show room in Spillville with a wide variety of hardwood species to choose from.

Silver Creek Hardwood Floors offers both pre-finished and site-finished floors. The company does the sales, installation, sanding and finishing of new hardwood floors and also refinishes old hardwood floors.

Phone numbers for the company are 563-562-1058 and 563-380-1593.


Throne Landscape Yardcare Services Inc. was founded in 2010 by Brian and Deb Throne and their son, Jeremi Throne, after Jeremi moved back to his home area to venture out on his own in a landscape business.

Jeremi studied landscape design and installation at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and worked for a landscape company in Cedar Rapids for two seasons before moving back.

The business office is located outside of Lake Mills and the operations based just outside Thompson.

The company services a wide range of North Iowa and southern Minnesota and has three employees. Jeremi Throne works out of Thompson as the operations manager, while Brad Midlang, installation specialist, and Kathy Christianson, sales and design manager, work out of Lake Mills. Christianson majored in horticulture at Iowa State University, Ames.

Throne Landscape specializes in hardscape installation which includes retaining walls, foundations, patios, fire pits, walkways, water features, accent lighting and plantings. Commercial and residential snow removal is available in the Thompson, Lake Mills and Forest City areas.

Email is


The Tub Guy offers a higher quality, lower cost alternative to tearing out your old tub and walls, according to owner Bob Walker.

The Tub Guy can transform your bath in as little as one day with a new bath liner, shower conversion, walk-through conversions, walk-in tub and/or wall surrounds. It’s less expensive, faster and less mess than a stud-up remodeling.

The standard packages include extras like soap dishes and corner shelves or caddies. Single piece custom-fit panels eliminate seams and protect against future leaks.

Bathtub liners are available in five colors, with six skirt options, and are custom molded to perfectly fit your tub. The liners fit most cast iron or steel tubs, and will not crack, chip or peel. They are easy to clean and include a new pop-up drain and overflow cover.

Choose an updated look, with easy-to-clean sleek walls and fixtures. Or change to the convenience of a walk-in shower or even a walk-in tub and shower combination.

Non-porous acrylic choices cover a range of colors and textures, including convincing faux stone and tile options. Add options like grab bars. The company can also install matching wainscoting in the entire bathroom.

The Tub Guy uses the heaviest, highest quality acrylic liners and wall panels in the industry, with a modern range of color and pattern offerings. Acrylic won’t rust like old enamel-coated steel and is easier to clean and more durable than fiberglass.

A Tub Guy bathroom update is a wise and enjoyable investment. Financing is available.

The Tub Guy is locally owned and all products used are made in the USA. Stop by booth A-24 and take a look.

Phone is 641-423-3983 and website at


Window Accents is located in Algona and the owners, Steve and Kathy Nelson, have been in business since 1978.

They sell window fashions, soft treatments, drapes and shutters. They not only can sell you the blinds for your windows but they can clean them right on the window.

Steve said they are certified with on-site fabric cleaning to clean all your window treatments. They sell throughout the Midwest and enjoy traveling together to new and old locations.

Steve and Kathy sell Hunter Douglas products exclusively as they believe the warranty is the best in the business. All Hunter Douglas products are fabricated in the United States and the company is continually creating new window fashions products.

Some products that their customers are interested in include Pirouette, Silhouette, Luminette, Duette, Vignette and designer screen shades and shutters. Solera is brand new this year. Steve is a certified professional installer. Hunter Douglas has three lines of shutters: Heritance Hardwood, New Style Shutters and Palm Beach Shutters.

Steve and Kathy are qualified to help you in any designing and decorating needs. They have been in business for 35 years and get a lot of referrals from past customers. You can find them on the internet at Hunter Douglas dealer locator or their own website

Steve and Kathy really enjoy coming to mason City, meeting new people and seeing their past customers stop by the booth. They are located at Booth A007-A008.


Young Construction specializes in roofing, siding, painting and insulation and this year is announcing “great things for the future.”

“We continue to grow in all areas,” said owner Dan Young. “I consider us to be a leader in residential roofing in North Iowa. I enjoy meeting homeowners and helping them choose the roof that best fits their home.”

Getting a new roof can be stressful for any homeowner, so Young focuses on doing the job using quality products, while completing the job professionally and in a timely manner. Young Construction is an Owens Corning Preferred Contractor, and Young stays educated and up-to-date on the latest in the roofing industry.

Young Construction also does farm and agricultural metal roofs.

The company showroom in Nora Springs at 14 South Iowa Ave. opens Saturdays starting March 15 and by appointment. The showroom allows customers an opportunity to view shingle colors and other features, along with siding choices.

On siding projects, material choices range from vinyl to cement board, in addition to metal.

Young Construction receives many calls and does a lot of exterior painting jobs on Victorian homes. The company welcomes the opportunity to work on unique and challenging homes.

“Our goal at Young Construction is to provide quality and trustworthy, professional work at a price that fits our customers’ budgets,” Young said.

His relationship with customers doesn’t end when the job ends, as he is part of the North Iowa community.

For a free consultation and estimate, contact Young at 641-430-0655 or online at

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Ann Arbor mayor lays out vision for string of downtown public plazas

As the Ann Arbor City Council discussed the possibility of a future downtown park on the Library Lot, Mayor John Hieftje laid out his own vision Monday night.

Hieftje gave a 10-minute slideshow presentation, showing rough sketches and ideas for a string of connected plazas in the downtown core.

The drawings were done by city park planner Amy Kuras based on general ideas Hieftje has been talking about since September 2012.

Starting from Liberty Plaza, an existing park at the southwest corner of Liberty and Division, the images show a colored walkway leading south on Division Street to Library Lane, then extending west to a new plaza envisioned on the Library Lot.

Hieftje noted the drawings don’t show a walkway crossing through First Martin Corp.’s property to directly connect Liberty Plaza with the contemplated Library Lot plaza, because the city doesn’t yet have an agreement to do that.

“But we do use decorative inlaid pavement in the sidewalk to create something like the ‘yellow brick road’ that would go from a re-imagined and re-done Liberty Plaza down Library Lane to a park on top of the library parking structure,” he said. “I guess it’s kind of a ‘rose brick road’ with decorative features along the way.”

From there, the colored walkway continues across Fifth Avenue and down to William Street to another corner plaza with a grand fountain on the Y Lot, which Dennis Dahlmann is planning to develop after buying it from the city.

The colored walkway then continues west along William Street, across Fourth Avenue, down to the northeast corner of Main and William where Hieftje said another plaza could be developed on the Palio Lot, the parking lot next to the Palio restaurant.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje gives a presentation before the City Council, laying out his vision for a string of downtown public plazas connected by colored walkways. Hieftje said the colored walkway also could keep going west of Main Street, down to the city-owned Kline Lot at the northeast corner of Ashley and William, where he said there could be another fountain and green space.

From there, he said, it could connect to the future Allen Creek Greenway, starting with an anchor park at First and William and then two more greenway parks on city properties at 415 W. Washington and 721 N. Main.

Hieftje indicated city staff is working on a proposal to take to the city’s Historic District Commission to get approval to demolish the dilapidated building that stands at 415 W. Washington. He said it would cost about $6 million to reuse the building, so the city is looking toward demolition to pave the way for a greenway park.

He said a graduate class at the University of Michigan has agreed to take on a project next fall to develop a master plan for the overall vision.

“If we want to do all these things — and the greenway has been on our to-do list for a very long time, and now we have downtown parks on our to-do list — we have to find a way to pay for it, and then we have to find a way to maintain it,” Hieftje said.

Hieftje suggested the city could look for partners to help bring the vision for more downtown parks to life, and try to convince developers to take on the costs of constructing and maintaining public spaces as they redevelop city-owned sites.

“We have an opportunity both at the top of the Library Lot and at 415 and at the Palio Lot to find a partner,” he said, noting First Martin maintains Liberty Plaza.

Hieftje said he’s very happy to hear Council Member Stephen Kunselman say he wants to see the buildable section of the Library Lot sold for redevelopment.

“We have the opportunity here to incorporate a park into the development, so that we use the developer’s funds to build a park, we use the developer’s funds to maintain the park,” he said, suggesting the city could do the same at 415 W. Washington.

Hieftje acknowledged the city was unsuccessful in fielding a suitable proposal for 415 W. Washington when it issued a request for proposals back in 2008, but he said it wasn’t a good time and the economic climate has changed greatly.

“We have nothing to lose trying to sell that and trying to incorporate the construction and maintenance of a greenway park in the development agreement,” he said.

Hieftje also suggested the Main Street Area Association could be a potential partner in creating a plaza or park space on the Palio Lot, and he said the Downtown Development Authority could help fund the colored walkways.

The images Hieftje showed during his presentation included examples of urban parks in other cities with children’s play areas, water features, creative pavement patterns, green landscaping and public art sculptures.

“I don’t think we’ll have Ray Charles on a piano on top of a fountain as they do (in Albany, Ga.), but we might have Mr. B — who knows,” Hieftje said, referring to the popular pianist who plays at the Ann Arbor Art Fair every year.

Hieftje said the shadow of Liberty Plaza, known for attracting drug users and homeless people, hangs over the idea of any new downtown park.

“I don’t know very many citizens in our neighborhoods who aren’t downtown every day who would tell you they want to go down and visit Liberty Plaza,” he said, suggesting the city needs to focus on how to make Liberty Plaza work.

“Liberty Plaza probably needs to be brought up level,” he said, referring to its sunken nature. “It needs considerable work. We need to figure out a way to make Liberty Plaza a place where all of our citizens would like to go.”

Ryan Stanton covers Ann Arbor city hall for The Ann Arbor News. Reach him at or 734-623-2529 or follow him on Twitter.

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Seminars explore building and remodeling projects, outdoor spaces and gardens

The 23rd annual North Iowa Home and Landscaping Show, Friday, March 7, to Sunday, March 9, at the North Iowa Events Center in Mason City, features a diverse mix of North Iowa and southern Minnesota’s best home improvement and landscaping businesses.

Nationally recognized home improvement expert Paul Ryan headlines an informative series of seminars at this year’s show.

Ryan is the host of several television shows on DIY Network, and has appeared on the Food Network, TLC and HGTV.

When not on television, Ryan works as a licensed contractor, certified home inspector and insurance adjustor in Minnesota.

Ryan will present “Kitchen Remodeling — Planning for the Best Outcome.” Learn tips and techniques to help you get the most out of your project while saving time and money.

In this information-packed seminar, Ryan will unveil what’s really involved in key aspects of your next remodel. Topics include plumbing, drywall installation and repair, flooring, tiling and general tools of the trade.

John Sjolinder, executive director of ISU Extension and Outreach for Cerro Gordo County, will provide area gardening enthusiasts with some tips on hardy but beautiful plants in “The Weather Resistant Gardener.”

Sjolinder will show you how to be prepared for Mother Nature’s weather extremes this summer. Sjolinder holds two degrees from Iowa State University and received his ISU Master Gardener certification in 2006. He is a popular speaker on plants, soils and turf management.

Shawn Davis joined Marquart Concrete Products last year. He is a popular speaker on designing attractive patios, walkways and driveways using pavers and stone.

Davis is a certified nursery professional and has been involved in the landscape industry since 1980. Before joining Marquart he owned his own landscape company for 14 years.

Let him show you how to take your designs to the next level in “Turn Your Outdoor Space Into an Entertainment Showcase.”

Planning to build a new home but don’t know where to start? Come listen to Art Stenzel from Nordaas American Homes present “Building a New Home — Getting Started.”

This seminar is a Builders 101. Stenzel starts with the first step of getting financing and ends with the final construction project.

Each participant will walk away with a variety of information, including a free binder full of insider tips and practical guidance.

Stenzel has been with Nordaas for more than 20 years, and has a vast amount of building experience.

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Gardening symposium draws some 200 people

The Parkland Master Gardeners and the St. Francois County Extension Center presented the 16th Annual Parkland Gardening Symposium at Mineral Area College on Saturday.

They had nearly 200 people registered for the event, along with several vendors set up. There were four sessions with five classes in each session that were offered.

Parkland Master Gardener and Vice-President Colleen Cruse said they had 200 people attending and that’s what they wanted.

“They were able to pick the four classes they wanted to attend when they signed up. There are presenters from the extension office, one person from Lincoln University, and several Master Gardeners that are presenting the classes,” said Cruse.

Master Gardener Ginny Smith said all the proceeds from the event go to a scholarship.

“The money we take in will go towards a scholarship for two horticulture students at Mineral Area College,” said Smith.

MAC Horticulture Assistant Professor Chad Follis and Parkland Master Gardener President Faye Worley introduced the MAC students during the gardening symposium. Sandra Jarvis and Abbie Hamblin were given their scholarships at that time.

Lincoln University Assistant Professor Zalalem Mersha said this was his first time participating in the symposium and his class covered the basic concepts, diagnosis, identification and prevention of plant diseases.

“I am a state extension specialist. I cover Missouri and I am the state plant pathology specialist on vegetables and small fruits. The organizing is done well here and I am just excited to meet the gardeners and talk with them. I will talk with them about what I am doing in my Plant Pathology Program, and what they can do if they are having problems,” said Mersha.

The classes that were offered ranged from container gardening, landscaping, greenhouse design and construction, canning, weed warfare, wild edibles of the Native Americans, rain gardens, invasive species, combating common insect pests in the garden, bird baths and garden art, cooking with herbs, tomatoes galore and much more.

MU Extension Plant Science Specialist Kate Kammler said she instructed a class in each session. She ended up filling in for two other classes besides the two she was scheduled to lead.

“We covered the basis of the topics of each class. I am a very hands-on teacher. Whatever questions people have I want to answer them, because it’s about what they want to learn out of it. This is one of my covered counties, so I teach a class here every year and it has really expanded a lot. The master gardeners group does a great job organizing this event and they do an excellent job of managing everything, getting speakers and picking good topics,” said Kammler.

Symposium attendee Jean Trask said she was looking forward to the afternoon classes she was taking.

“I wanted to take the class about starting plants. I have come to this in the past and enjoy it thoroughly. I look forward to the classes and have put what I have learned to good use,” said Trask.

There were also 12 vendors set up in the atrium for the attendees to view and purchase the products if they liked. Everything was locally made products such as honey, bird house gourds, compost, jams and jellies, pottery and soaps.

Garden’s Green Compost employee Matt Plunkett said this was the first time he has come down as a vendor to this event.

“We offer a variety of all natural composts made up of animal waste, sawdust and manure. There are several different compost blends, including one that feeds and weeds at the same time,” said Plunkett.

The compost was created to reduce the use of fungicides and herbicides, as well as water conservation, healthier soils and protection of sensitive ecosystems. It contains all the major plant nutrients which will provide a steady long-term feeding of nutrients to plants.

Owner of The Farmer’s Daughter, Jean Merrill-Doss, said this is the second year being a vendor at the symposium.

“It’s great to see everyone come through. I sell jams, jellies, spice mixes, baked goods and gifts from a jar. It’s usually worthwhile to come down, but for me it just creates awareness that I’ll be at the Farmington Farmers Market this year,” said Merrill-Doss.

Parkland Master Gardener President Faye Worley said they had a wonderful turnout and it was very successful.

“I heard wonderful comments about the presenters, the classes, and we are all very happy with it. It’s a great sign when the fact that people who stopped us would say it was a great event and that they were having a great time. That is what we like to hear, because we are always trying to get what people would like to learn,” said Worley.

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The Potted Desert Garden: Double Your Pleasure in Your Garden Landscape by …

Want to improve your landscaping without spending a lot of money? Consider this: shimmering reflections of your existing landscaping, as well as a few artfully arranged container gardens.

Why not double the intrinsic value of your landscape by using your pool as a mirror that reflects your plantings year-round? Container gardens are perfect for this: You don’t need to retrofit new beds and planting areas; all you need to do is add some appropriately sized pots close to the water’s edge, and gain the look immediately.

Consider using some brightly colored pots, and then plant in them flowers/plants with one or two colors to gain the greatest reflective value in the pool. To keep your pool-cleaning from becoming more challenging, you will also want to choose flowers that do not readily drop. Some annuals that hang on to their blooms are Scaevola (fan flower—trailing), Pentas (tall upright) and Gazania (low perennial). I also recommend searching out some of the more interesting varieties of Lantana. They will thrive in the heat and hold up well all summer long.

Some heat-happy succulents and other plants to consider:

  • Giant Hesperaloe. (Pictured to the right.)
  • Red Yucca.
  • Whipple’s Yucca.
  • Bougainvillea—Torch Glow. (You don’t want to use other varieties, as you will constantly be removing the petals from your pool filter. The Torch Glow hangs on to its blossoms much better.)

What about the heat, you ask? You can beat the heat with some good planning. It’s best to place your pots on the south or west side of the pool. West-side pots should ideally have something behind them to provide a bit of afternoon shade. A wall would be perfect—see the picture at the top—or you can use a landscape plant if you already have a bed nearby. You can even use a larger pot behind the pool pots. The reflection value is tremendous with this latter arrangement.

If the pots need to be on the east side of the pool—which means plants will get not only a direct hit of the Western sun; they’ll also bear the reflecting heat of the pool—it’s best to go with shrubs or cacti/succulents. These plants hold up well to the direct sunlight and heat of our desert summer.

North-side pots are most at risk of heat problems in the middle of the summer when the sun is setting. Again, you can add plants or large pots to offer these pool-area pots some relief.

All plants will need regular water, so make sure your plantings are in pots a minimum of 24 inches tall. Floral plantings will need daily water, and shrubs require water every two to three days. Cactuses only need water once every two weeks.

Your first step is to spend some time looking at your pool while the weather is still relatively cool. If you have an empty pot handy, try placing it near the pool’s edge to see where you get the best reflection. Then plan what pot(s) you will want to use, and what you would like to plant in them. Start with just one, if you’d like, or ramp it up to two or three. If you’re worried about trying this during the summer, go ahead and plan for the fall.

A 24-inch pot with one of the succulents listed above will be the easiest plant to practice with. Plant one in a brilliant red or purple pot, and it’ll do the trick!

Marylee Pangman is the founder and former owner of The Contained Gardener in Tucson, Ariz. She has become known as the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Marylee is available for digital consultations, and you can email her with comments and questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
, and follow the Potted Desert on Facebook. The Potted Desert Garden appears weekly at

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