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Archives for January 24, 2016

Select the right desert plants for success – Las Cruces Sun

“There are several reasons to be selective about plants in landscaping,” said Jackye Meinecke, native plant specialist and former owner of Enchanted Gardens. “Why waste money on plants that not only do not thrive, but die within months of planting? The time and expense of installing plants adds up. If they die, the gardener has lost a year towards a lovely garden and must start again.”

If you are dreaming of a new look for your yard, using colorful, vibrant desert plantings that require only minimal amounts of water, you should mark your calendar now to attend the free Lush and Lean workshop, presented by Jackye Meinecke on Thursday, March 10. Lush and Lean workshops are always free and open to the public. They are presented by the Water Conservation Program of Las Cruces Utilities and are scheduled Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Roadrunner Room of Branigan Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave.

Meinecke will lead a program on “Selecting appropriate plants for your landscape.” The workshop is part of a series of talks to help residents make more informed choices for their landscaping needs.

“Plants that thrive in our environment, whether native or well adapted, also use fewer resources, such as water, fertilizer, pesticides, and soil amendments. That equals more cost savings,” explained Meinecke. “Finally, native plants serve the environment in which they are adapted for insects, animals, and other plants. Plus, native plants do not out-compete and drive out the native habitat.”

A simple rule of thumb to follow, Meinecke said, is to take the time to research plants and plan ahead before a shopping trip.

You can learn more of her advice at the Lush and Lean workshop. Subtopics of Meinecke’s presentation include key concepts of xeriscaping, ways to water plants, and ecosystems created and destroyed by gardens. She will also answer questions from the audience.

See the complete list of speakers and Lush and Lean dates at or (you don’t need a Facebook account to view this page).

You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides gas, water, wastewater and solid waste services to about 100,000 Las Cruces residents.

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111 Fletcher St., Kennebunk

KENNEBUNK – Beautifully restored in recent years, and updated even more recently (new systems include propane heat for the entire house) this 1890 New Englander offers all the charm and character of a vintage home, the sparkle of a brand-new one, and the ease-of-living comfort that comes with a high degree of efficiency and low-to-no maintenance.

Fine finishing touches are everywhere, as are wood floors (maple or pine) and textured wallpaper, painted. The original sun porch has been enclosed as a family room; is now four-season, and features a built-in bench window seat and a new gas fireplace.

The adjacent dining room has a handsome built-in for china; the gas-range, eat-in kitchen is updated with marble flooring, beadboard wainscoting, granite counters, and cool, Guy Buffet collection backsplashes.

With equal flair, the full, two-level bath with double-seat shower enclosure has wallpaper with drawings by English artist Aubrey Beardsley. Two spacious parlors, back and front, provide floor-plan flexibility.

On the second floor, the three bedrooms are good-sized; the master, at the rear, has a lighted walk-in closet, European wallpaper accents, and opens into a long daylight attic that could be finished/converted for additional space. The upstair’s new, full bath is a beauty, with deep soaking tub, marble subway tile, and granite vanity with oval undermount sink.

The two-level barn can handle two compact cars tandem, and has extensive walkup, daylight space upstairs. The attached potting shed, about 14 feet by 18 feet, enjoys wonderful light and would make a great studio, in addition to a perfect HQ for an enthusiastic gardener.

The level, 0.42-acre lot is a little park unto itself, with flower gardens and attractive landscaping; the back yard is huge, fenced along the west side, and well-screened to the rear by a small forest of mature trees.

The location – an easy walk to the high school and to downtown, and convenient both to major roadways and to area beaches (some buyers might well consider this as a second home) is a further advantage.

Please note that the home is being offered by “motivated sellers,” and that the asking price was recently reduced to $335,000 (from $349,000).

The 1,850-square-foot home at 111 Fletcher St., Kennebunk, is listed for sale by Gail Arnold and Marissa Gagne of Kennebunk Beach Realty, and is being shown by appointment.

For more information or to schedule a private viewing, please contact Gail or Marissa at 967-5481 or at  [email protected] or [email protected].

Produced by the Marketing Department of the Maine Sunday Telegram, the Home of the Week is provided at no cost.

Photos by Ryan Bachman Photography.

Please send Home of the Week suggestions to [email protected].





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What’s new at the York Home Show

The annual Home Show put on by the York Builders Association has a lot to boast this year.

The event is heading into its 48th year the weekend of Jan. 29. More than 150 exhibitors will showcase their products and services for people interested in building or remodeling their homes over the course of a weekend. And kids even have a place to hang out while their parents ogle at new furnishings for the home.

But the show has also introduced plenty of new into this year’s show. Below are some things you can expect.

New name

This year, the show will be called the Home Garden Show. Just last year, the show had a couple gardens on display and the public expressed more interest in that idea, said Laurie Lourie, the executive vice president of the York Builders Association.

Several local landscaping companies will have gardens set up throughout the show floor at the Utz Arena, she said.

“Anything that you can use inside your home or outside your home, if you’re building or remodeling, it’s like a one-stop shop,” Lourie said.

She added, “We’re seeing more outdoor living…and the backyard as more of a space to go out. People are beginning to enjoy the outdoors more. People like to entertain.”

Fundraiser for local charity

Each year, the show raises funds for a local charity, Lourie said.

People who go this year can buy raffle tickets to have a chance to win a custom-made potting bench. The benches, which are up to 10-feet long and 8-feet high can hold flower pots and gardening tools. They’re essentially like a work bench for gardening, Lourie said.

There will be eight benches in the raffle. They’re made out of treated wood that can be withstand the elements. Proceeds this year go to ForSight Vision in York, a charitable organization that provides services meant to prevent, prepare for or manage loss of vision.

Surplus sale

Over the weekend, show participants can peruse a builders’ surplus sales section, Lourie said. The section will include appliances or other items that are either surplus or discontinued items that the association is bring and selling at discounted prices.

Kids’ zone

Worried about what to do with the kids while you attend the show? Don’t sweat it. The Home Garden Show has kid activities throughout the weekend, including a home building Lego competition, coloring contest and face painting. A full list of activities is listed on the association’s website.

Gardening tips 

If you like to garden or are interested in gardening, you’ll want to read this.

Before you know it, it will be time to do your spring garden cleanup, said Jeff Bollinger, a designer with Hively Landscapes in Dover Township. Hively will be on hand at this year’s Home Garden Show.

Here are some quick tips from Bollinger on how to start thinking about prepping that garden you have at home.

Concerned for your soil? 

Now is a good time to do a soil test. The best way to do that is go to Penn State York County extension and purchase a mailer, Bollinger said, to send the college a sample of soil in an envelope. They can test for basic nutrients and pH levels.

If you go

What: Home Garden Show

When: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31

Where: Utz Arena, York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Rd.

Cost: $8 for adults. Cost is free for anyone under 18

Details: For more information, visit

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Heights seed swap cultivates gardening enthusiasts

HARKER HEIGHTS — Judy Frederick, of Harker Heights, wanted to attend a seed swap for the past few years and was able to for the first time Saturday.

Frederick attended the event, hosted by the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department at the city’s activities center, along with her 4-year-old granddaughter, Sasha Clay.

While her older sister transplanted aloe to bring to the event, Sasha transplanted a snake plant.

“These plants are going to turn blue,” Sasha said, as she held up a bluebonnet. “I’m going to make sunflowers at my home, too.”

The purpose of Saturday’s swap was for residents like Sasha and her grandmother to meet with other local gardeners and ask questions before spring, said Sarah Mylcraine, activities specialist for the city.

“This is always a good event when everyone’s excited and starting to think about their gardens,” Mylcraine said. “And it is a supplement to activities we have here in the center like the community garden or gardener education series.”

Returning to the event after attending it last year were Copperas Cove residents Amy, Jim and Hailee Strunk and Heather Keimig.

“We’re garden enthusiasts. It gives us a place to exchange information with like-minded individuals that are passionate about gardening,” Strunk said. “I think we’re wide open to everything, and then it’s fun to chat with the Master Gardeners as well to get some gardening tips.”

Bell County Master Gardeners are certified after attending classes at the Texas AM AgriLife Extension offices in Belton, Master Gardener Melinda Arriola said.

The group maintains vegetables in Killeen’s municipal garden to harvest for area nursing homes, food banks and food shelters and attends community events, Arriola said.

Members brought seeds to Saturday’s event harvested from their own gardens, she said.

Amazon Muldrow-Roberts just received her certification with the group in 2015.

“If you don’t know anything, you’re going to learn a lot, and if you know something, you’re learning more,” Roberts said.

Arriola said residents can call 254-933-5305 if they’re interested in becoming a Master Gardener. The group started classes Jan. 13. She encouraged residents to also call if they want garden or plant tips.

Similar to the Master Gardeners, Central Texas Master Naturalists also attend classes to become certified, Zoe Rascoe said.

Master Naturalists focus on conservation and natural resources as a whole, Rascoe said.

“We love working next to the Master Gardeners because we can talk to someone and they go, ‘Oh, I love to garden,’ and we say you know what you’re going to benefit from them more than us,” Rascoe said. “And then there are others who say, ‘I’m not into gardening, but I got this prairie I’m trying to rehabilitate,’ who we can help.”

Seeds the group brought to Saturday’s swap were native grasses to Central Texas.

People interested in becoming a Master Naturalist can go to

“Our job is to teach people about plants and animals and soils and trees we have, and the rocks we have,” Rascoe said. “You don’t have to have big equipment or binoculars. We can help you learn about the stuff in your backyard.”

Other groups attending Saturday’s swap included Killeen-based Hidden Falls Nursery, the Belton Iris Society and the Killeen Garden Club.

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Share gardening tips, tricks at Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange

Shake off the winter blues and pick up a gardening tip or two at the 6th annual Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall Feb. 6.

The seed exchange is a free event where attendees can share seeds, planning tips and information about gardening and seed-saving resources.

The goal of the event is to grow a network of people committed to growing and eating locally produced food, and sharing varieties of seeds native to the Snoqualmie River Valley and the Puget Sound region.

Over the past five years, the seed exchange has consistently grown into a lively social event, drawing in gardeners of all skill levels from as far away as Puyallup and Everett.

“Among the goals of the seed exchange is building a foundation for food self-reliance,” event co-organizer Susan Alling said in a press release.

“As our communities face more challenges like genetically modified food, rising pesticide use and loss of food source labeling, we’re meeting more and more families who want to learn how to grow their own food.”

Beginning at noon, the seed exchange will host four workshops that will cover a variety of topics, including creating a garden calendar, successful seed germination, seed saving and sustainable agriculture.

In addition to the workshops, the seed exchange will also feature “how-to” tips and tricks, with volunteers on hand to discuss creative container gardening, sowing seeds in winter and soil fertility.

In between the workshops and discussions, attendees can enjoy a lunch menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts at the Seed Cafe organized by volunteer chefs. Though the food is free, donations are requested.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb 6 at Cedarcrest High School, 29000 N.E. 150th St. in Duvall.

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Sunday top tips for gardening gurus

SUNDAY afternoons were made for gardening and we’ve got some top tips for you to do this week.

Sunday Top Tips

  • Tidy up shrubs by cutting back broken stems and branches. 
  • Sow sweet peas in a cool, light room or a frost-free, sheltered cold frame. 
  • Order summer-flowering bulbs from catalogues. 
  • Prune wisteria, shortening the sideshoots from the main framework to encourage flower buds.
  •  Keep off icy grass or you’ll damage it. 
  • Spread out well-rotted manure or garden compost on to your borders.
  • Keep bird baths and feeders topped up. 
  • Keep on top of winter-germinating weeds by hoeing any weed seedlings you see. 
  • Clear damp, soggy leaves from the crowns of plants. 
  • Force rhubarb. 
  • Continue to buy seed potatoes for chitting before planting in March. 
  • Bend leaves over cauliflowers to protect the developing curds.

What to look out for

Best of the bunch – Skimmia

THESE hardy shrubs make a statement in the winter garden with their clusters of vibrant red berries and evergreen leaves to provide year-round interest. 

Red tinted flower buds of Skimmia japonica on a frosty winter’s morning look stunning in the border or in pots, which develop into white or pink-tinted spring flowers. 

Red fruits are borne on female plants so you’ll need to plant a male and a female together, or a hermaphrodite such as reevesiana if you want berries.

Spud luck

IF spuds have taken over your veg patch, or they’ve suffered from blight and perished over the years, it may be time to grow them in pots if you want a delicious crop which tastes completely different from the shop-bought varieties. 

And pots can be moved to a warm, sheltered, sunny spot to aid the growth rate of the potatoes. Any pot with drainage holes will do, but the bigger the better as they will need plenty of moisture, which will be retained more successfully in a larger pot. 

Plant in multi-purpose compost – first and second early varieties work best as they can be harvested earlier so the pot’s freed up for alternative crops.

You’ll need three tubers in a 40L container with some compost on top, plenty of watering during the season and when the green shoots come up, cover them with another layer of compost, feed and water accordingly and continue to do that until you reach the top of the pot. 

When they’re ready to harvest, dig them up as you need them. Good varieties include ’Charlotte’ and ’Epicure’.

Need a little inspiration?

PERHAPS you’re looking to escape the daily grind of the gloomy Cumbrian weather?

Just a hop, skip and jump away across the channel lies a number of spectacular gardens to explore.

Visits to the French Riviera could take in the Menton Lemon Festival in February and the International Rose Festival in Grasse in May. 

Looking for something a little more dramatics?

There’s a whole host of scenic breaks for green-fingered gurus waiting to be explored in exotic destinations such as South Korea, Sri Lanka and Morocco.

Go wild with an adventure spanning Africa and Europe to take in some of the world’s most show-stopping gardens and natural landscapes.

From safari treks in Namibia and Botswana, through the arid scenery of the Moroccan desert to exuberant palatial gardens of Italy, there is a whole world of horticultural havens to explore.

But perhaps you’re looking for something a little closer to home? 

Quintessential English counties have an abundance of beauty on offer right on our doorstep. 

The pretty villages of the Costwolds exude traditional Britishness.

Why not follow in the footsteps of the great landscape architect, Capability Brown, by taking in the counties of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire to complete your trip?

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Garden Tips: Perennial flowers need attention – Tri

When perennial flowers first became trendy, many gardeners had the impression that perennials were low or no-maintenance plants. Since then, we have learned that perennials require regular care to keep them coming back each year.

At this time of year, most perennials are quietly resting in the garden, but as the weather starts warming, there are some important tasks that need to be performed. The first is cutting back dead growth killed by fall frost. If there are no signs of green growth at a perennial’s base, cut the dead growth back to the ground. Some types of perennials will already have visible green growth. Carefully remove dead leaves and stems to uncover the new growth.

Weeding is also on the spring chore list. Winter weeds will grow quickly once the weather warms. If you see any, get them out of there before they get a chance to grow. Just make sure you are pulling weeds and not perennials.

With weeds in mind, spring is an opportune time to renew the wood chip or bark mulch around plants. Because of our moist winter conditions, organic mulches in will have had the chance to break down, enriching the soil but leaving a layer of mulch that may not be thick enough to provide good weed control. Check the depth of mulch and apply more if the layer is less than 3 to 4 inches thick for coarse mulches, or less than 2 to 3 inches for finely textured mulches.

Organic mulches help retain moisture and control weeds, but care must be taken not to overdo it. Too much mulch can kill plants, especially if it is placed over the crowns (bases) of the plants.

Another springtime task in the perennial garden is division. Over time, most perennials will need to be divided. The frequency of division varies from type to type, becoming evident when the center of a clump starts to die out, or the plant’s flower production has significantly declined. Perennials may also need to be divided if they are outgrowing their allotted space. To find the typical frequency of division for each kind of perennial, check a reliable garden reference.

Division is best in the spring once plants have started to grow, but before the new growth is more than 4 to 5 inches tall. Early season bloomers, such as Oriental poppies, peonies, iris and Asiatic lilies, are an exception. They should be divided after flowering in late summer or early fall. There are also perennials that do not like to be divided or moved, such as flax, lupine, Russian sage, evening primrose and butterfly weed.

Division tends to be a rigorous task. It requires digging up the plant, washing soil from the roots and crown, removing dead parts and then dividing live portion into several clumps. Sometimes division can be accomplished by gently pulling the plant apart using garden forks, but more often, the process involves using a sharp garden knife or spade to cut apart the clump and remove the dead portions. Again, a good garden reference can clue you in what may be needed when dividing each kind of perennial. The newly separated divisions should be replanted right away at the same level that they were growing previously, and then watered in to settle the soil.

It is still a bit early and the soil is too wet to be taking on these perennial flower chores today, but it will not be long before you can get started.

Marianne C. Ophardt is a horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

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In immigration debate, sympathy for American workers is long overdue

Marcela GarcÍa foretells the woes that would befall companies in the restaurant, agribusiness, construction, landscaping, and newspaper delivery sectors if the United States were to enforce its immigration laws (“The US economy runs on immigrants,” Ideas, Jan. 17).

Not once does she consider the possibility that companies in these industries could just increase wages to attract American workers in place of illegal immigrants. In this regard, she falls in line with the bipartisan consensus that employers are entitled to an endless supply of cheap labor and illegal immigrants are entitled to stay in the country that they broke into.


García seems to evince no sympathy for American workers, many of whom have suffered stagnant wages or have been displaced from the labor force as a result of mass immigration. The resulting sense of economic insecurity is driving the remarkable campaign of Donald Trump. Finally, a candidate is running on the novel platform that the American president should put Americans’ interests first.

Matthew Burwell


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Feedback given on reservoir ideas

Several areas around the Altus city reservoir are being looked at as possible featured areas for recreational and educaitonal additions.


The Altus city reservoir project team, led by Johnny Barron, is looking to develop the land around the reservoir as a gathering place to include water use amenities such as boating, swimming, water slides, splash pads and other attractions. Grants have been applied for, and a preliminary scope of work is anticipated for the feasibility study and preliminary design. They are also looking to increase the capacity of the reservoir to give us the most amount of storage, and the most drought preparedness that we can achieve.

The consultants will perform a grid survey of the depth of each basin to measure storage volume. An evaluation of existing survey data of the topography for the areas surrounding the reservoir will also be studied. A sediment analysis will be performed to look for environmental contaminants that may endanger the public or environment. An evaluation of the environmental impact assessment, regulatory review, dam safety assessment and data from the National Inventory of Dams will all be performed.

Altus city councilman Chris Riffle, who is a part of the city reservoir project team, said that we must set responsible expectations for the reservoir project. “Funding will definitely play a factor in the determination of which amenities to include in the preliminary design,” he said. “I am for a public/private partnership that would help with economic development. All types of people will use the reservoir, and have shared their dreams of the reservoir.”

Councilman Dwayne Martin, also a member of the project team, said the Altus Air Force Base has also been very enthusiastic about the reservoir plans. “The Air Force Base sees the reservoir project as an economic boost, and also an excellent way to improve the quality of living for Altus.”

The reservoir park development could have multiple uses including not only water use features, but recreation features, educational features, eateries, and attractive landscaping waterfalls, and docks.

The city of Altus will be reviewing qualifications February through April 2016, and will then solicit formal proposals for the feasibility study and preliminary design.

A project called “Dream Big Altus” can be seen on Facebook. It gives a drawing of some of the proposed ideas for the reservoir, as well as a section for people to give their suggestions and comments. Find it at:

By Mary O.Esparza,

Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext. 2077


Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext. 2077

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Annual show to feature improvement ideas for the home, landscapes



Patio extensions using pavers and stone materials are still a popular trend for homeowners who are looking to add value to their homes. Landscape and remodeling companies, such as BA Lawns Landscaping who completed this project, will be a the Green Country Home Garden Show. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Mike Liekhus, owner of BA Lawns Landscapin, shows a completed outdoor kitchen project in Tulsa. Liekhus will be at the upcoming Green Country Home Garden Show, Jan. 29-31, at the Expo Center. Patio extensions, water features, outdoor kitchens and pools are some of the popular trends for DIY fans and homeowners. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Citronella burners sit on a stone wall that is part of an outdoor kitchen and extended patio in Tulsa completed by BA Lawn Landscaping. The Broken Arrow business will be one of 165 vendors at the Green Country Home Garden Show, Jan. 29-31, at the Expo Center. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Remodeling and renovation businesses, including BA Lawn Landscaping, will be at the upcoming Green Country Home Garden Show, Jan. 29-31, at the Expo Center. The show isn’t only for homeowners, though, the show’s producer Steve McDonald said. There will be vendors who have everyday items from cookware collections to sustainably-made pillows. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Water features are a popular item in recent years that homeowners want to include in their spaces when they’re updating or preparing their home for resale, Brenda Liekhus said. She is one of the designers for BA Lawn Landscaping. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Visitors at the Green Country Home Garden Show can meet with pool vendors, including BA Lawn Landscaping that works with an area pool company to complete landscapes and outdoor entertaining spaces.  STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Fire pits are very popular for extended patios, Brenda Liekhus, a designers for BA Lawn Landscaping, said. Projects like this can be completed in the winter to enjoy during the spring.  STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Outdoor kitchens have continued to be popular additions to homes in recent years, said Brenda Liekhus, who works at BA Lawn Landscaping. The business uses pavers and stone materials to create extended patios and water that are popular for entertaining. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Outdoor kitchens and pergolas have been popular trends for homeowner, Brenda Liekhus, of BA Lawn Landscaping, said. The business, owned by her son, will be at the upcoming Green Country Home Garden Show, Jan. 29-31. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World



Mike Liekhus showing patio extensions using pavers including outdoor kitchens and water features in Tulsa, OK, Jan. 22, 2016. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World


Green Country Home Garden Show

When: Friday: -8 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. 8 p.m.; and Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: The Exchange Center at Expo Square, 4145 E. 21st St.

Admission/Parking: Free; Each day of the show will have a drawing for a $500 giveaway.

Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2016 12:00 am

Updated: 1:28 am, Sat Jan 23, 2016.

Annual show to feature improvement ideas for the home, landscapes

World Scene Writer


Cold and dreary weather doesn’t have to stop your home projects.

While winter might have you dreaming of warmer days spent on an extended patio or cooking in an outdoor kitchen, now is the perfect time to turn those dreams into a reality. The three-day Green Country Home Garden Show will fill the Exchange Center at Expo Square with landscaping and remodeling businesses that can complete any of your projects in time to enjoy this spring.


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    “Spring is great, but we do well through the winter as long as the ground isn’t frozen,” Brenda Liekhus, a designer with BA Lawns Landscaping, said.

    They are one of about 165 exhibitors at the show to offer their expertise and answers for homeowners looking to spruce up their living spaces or add resale value. Liekhus said people continue to show an interest in adding outdoor living spaces, such as outdoor kitchens, pools and patios to their homes.

    “People are enjoying outdoor entertaining with friends of family as much as ever,” she said. “Even if it’s cold out, you can set up an outdoor heater.”

    Other features, including fire pits, are also popular for extended patios and can be built with materials that add contemporary or modern accents to any space. Stainless steel barbecues or ranges can offer easy cleaning for outdoor kitchens and pergolas add much-needed shade during summer months.

    Customers always have ideas about what they want to do, and bringing photos of what they’d like to see from online idea boards, like Pinterest, is common. Liekhus said it’s a good starting point for people who want to hire professionals to complete the dream — even if it means reeling them back down to reality.

    “We’re good at visualizing it for them,” she said. “We can make a 3-D plan for them to help them see how it will all look.”

    Planning for a pool before the summer months arrive is another popular project for visitors at the Green Country Home Garden Show, Steven McDonald, the show’s producer, said. With spring being a time for do-it-yourself projects, he expects to see more than just homeowners about the expo center.

    “Not being a homeowner doesn’t rule you out. It’s a great place to get ideas from exhibitors,” he said.

    Popular exhibitors include storm shelter construction, pools, bathroom and kitchen redesigns, and paint. People visit shows like this to get ideas for projects when the weather warms up, he said, and some of those plans also might include putting in a pool for entertaining during the summer.

    For renters or apartment tenants, there will be booths with everyday items, from cookware collections to sustainably-made pillows.

    “Everybody has to eat and sleep — there are vendors with accessories for inside, no matter where you live,” he said.

    McDonald said this year’s roundup of vendors includes a lot of painting companies. He said it might be a result of the ongoing trend that people are reaching for the paintbrush for simple touch-ups around the house or to prepare for putting their home on the market.

    This is also the time of year when many homeowners start noticing little cracks here or other imperfections there, Steven Jones, owner of Tulsa Renew, said. Winter weather tends to expose little problems that could eventually turn into large projects.

    “What a lot of people do is see a one-problem area — chipping or rotting around a door — and we’ll point out some other things you may not see, and sometimes we’re the bearers of bad news,” Jones said.

    Exhibitors at the show can offer face-to-face consultation for problems, whether you are planning to do the work yourself or hire a business to handle it. As a title sponsor for the show, Jones said he sees a lot of people who come to the show with ideas already in mind for projects around the home.

    Seeing the variety of materials on display, including granite countertops, siding, windows, outdoor hardscape materials and more help people pinpoint where they want to focus their home projects.

    “It’s a nice place to meet a company in person and shop around,” Jones said. “You’ll get expert advice and hopefully save time and money.”

    Jessica Rodrigo 918-581-8482


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