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Archives for November 21, 2016

Marin garden calendar for the week of Nov. 19, 2016


Gardening classes: The Mill Valley Public Library offers free seasonal gardening classes most Saturdays and occasionally on Sundays. Call 415-389-4292 or go to

Workshops and gardening classes: Armstrong Garden Centers in Novato and San Anselmo offer free classes to gardeners of all skill levels most Saturdays. Call 415-878-0493 (Novato), 415-453-2701 (San Anselmo) or go to

Workshops and seminars: Sloat Garden Center has five Marin County locations that offer gardening workshops and seminars on a weekly basis. Check for schedule, locations and cost.

Workshops and seminars: The Marin Master Gardeners present a variety of how-to workshops, seminars and special events throughout Marin County on a weekly basis. Check for schedule, locations and cost.

Workshops and seminars: Marin Rose Society presents monthly lectures on growing roses and good garden practices. Check for schedule and locations.

Gardening volunteers: The Novato Independent Elders Program seeks seasonal volunteers to help Novato seniors with their overgrown yards Tuesday mornings or Thursday afternoons. Call 415-899-8296.

Nursery volunteers: Volunteers are sought to help in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy nurseries from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at Tennessee Valley, 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday; 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, or 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays at Marin Headlands Nursery; or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at Muir Beach, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays in the Marin Headlands. Call 415-561-3077 or go to

Nursery days: The SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network) native plant nursery days are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and weekends. Call 415-663-8590, ext. 114, or email to register and for directions. Go to for more information.

Garden visits: Marin Master Gardeners and the Marin Municipal Water District offer free residential Bay-Friendly Garden Walks to MMWD customers. The year-round service helps homeowners identify water-saving opportunities and soil conservation techniques for their landscaping. Call 415-473-4204 to request a visit to your garden.

Garden volunteers: Marin Open Garden Project (MOGP) volunteers are available to help Marin residents glean excess fruit from their trees for donations to local organizations serving people in need and to build raised beds to start vegetable gardens through the MicroGardens program. MGOP also offers a garden tool lending library. Go to or email

Around the bay

Landscape garden: Cornerstone Gardens is a permanent, gallery-style garden featuring walk-through installations by international landscape designers on nine acres at 23570 Highway 121 in Sonoma. Free. Call 707-933-3010 or go to

Olive ranch: McEvoy Ranch at 5935 Red Hill Road in Petaluma offers tours, workshops and special events. Call 707-769-4123 or go to

Botanical garden: Quarryhill Botanical Garden at 12841 Sonoma Highway in Glen Ellen covers 61 acres and showcases a large selection of scientifically documented wild source temperate Asian plants. The garden is open for self-guided tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. $5 to $10. Call 707-996-3166 or go to

— Compiled by Colleen Bidwill

The Trowel Glove Calendar appears Saturdays. Send high-resolution jpg photo attachments and details about your event to or mail to Home and Garden Calendar/Lifestyles, Marin Independent Journal, 4000 Civic Center Drive, Suite 301, San Rafael, CA 94903. Items should be sent two weeks in advance. Photos should be a minimum of 2 megabytes and include caption information. Include a daytime phone number on your release.

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HOME PROFILE: A pleasant home, inside and out

Built in 1964, this sprawling Contemporary and curb appeal go hand in hand. A multi-tiered front yard with lush and colorful plantings includes a charming waterfall. In fact, the landscaping is so spectacular it’s easy to overlook a wonderful location sited on a slight rise atop a stone wall. Lingering outside is tempting but the rest of the story continues inside.


ADDRESS: 10 Hayes Road, Salem


BATHROOMS: 2 full; 1 half

LIVING SPACE: 2,144 sq. ft.

PRICE: $429,900


Built in 1964, this sprawling Contemporary and curb appeal go hand in hand. A multi-tiered front yard with lush and colorful plantings includes a charming waterfall. In fact, the landscaping is so spectacular it’s easy to overlook a wonderful location sited on a slight rise atop a stone wall. Lingering outside is tempting but the rest of the story continues inside.


Let’s go see

A full glass pane door opens into a pretty (and practical) vestibule — this has a handy double coat closet — with a matching door that opens into the house.

The U-shaped kitchen has so much going for it — especially size. The fact is this room is huge. Of course, granite countertops and a long peninsula with a four-burner gas cooktop are very nice, too. Two built-in pantries are definitely another plus.

Not to be outdone, the eat-in area is also extremely large. A built-in server is convenient for daily use, special occasions or even as extra prep space. A more formal dining area complete with bay windows is also open to the kitchen.

The Great Room is just that and in so many ways. Consider that this gigantic space has a striking feature with an interesting story. The gas fireplace with a raised hearth, which is installed on a brick wall, comes with a bit of Salem history. The bricks are from a former Salem movie theater.

Multiple seating arrangements are easy in this large, light-filled room that overlooks the captivating front “lawnscape.” The bonus is that this grand room has access to an even more fabulous back yard.

The fact is that this amazing outdoor oasis has something for everyone. In addition to several terraced sections — ideal for gardens of all kinds as well as seating — this beautifully landscaped space skillfully incorporates granite outcroppings yet has large swaths of green lawn and flat play areas (for all ages). Everyone will enjoy the waterfall feature as well as the paver patio while gardeners will appreciate the mini greenhouse and shed. Oh, yes, this “yard” is also fully fenced and includes an above-ground pool.

Leaving this wonderful outdoor space is difficult but the rest of the house awaits including a large full bathroom conveniently located between the living areas and the bedrooms. A space-saving pocket door opens into this bright space with a corner closet (more storage) and a jetted tub.


And then…

The bedrooms, which are located at the back of the house, offer an unexpected privacy for a home with single-floor living. Of course, views of the “grounds” are a bonus. By the way, hardwood floors are the norm.

A wall of closets — storage is a non-issue here as well as throughout the house — is one highlight in the master bedroom. Even better, these closets are customized with open cubbies and specialized hanging spaces that make “a place for everything and everything in its place” easily doable.

A large finished loft area (a queen/king-size bed fits easily) includes a cedar closet. A cove-like ceiling adds a cozy vibe but what is can be even more. Given an adjacent half bathroom this has great potential as an en suite bedroom — a teenager’s dream come true or an ideal spot for a college student.

Additional living/playing/whatever space is also available at the other end of the house in the grand-sized basement. Here a huge finished playroom (or not) is ready and waiting.

Contact Sima Rotenberg of Sagan Agency Realtors at 781-956-2279 or 781-593-6111 or by email:


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What women want: A landscaping perspective

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Master gardeners publish gardener’s cookbook – Herald

The Washington County Master Gardeners have published a gardener’s cookbook.

The Gourmet Gardener’s Cookbook contains more than 250 recipes contributed by master gardeners.

Each recipe has at least one ingredient that can be grown in local gardens.

The book also has gardening essays, recipes for specialty gardens, and more than 100 gardening tips from master gardeners on everything from growing herbs to attracting pollinators.

Hardcover and spiral bound to lay flat, the 184-page cookbook has color photos and information on the master gardener program and 16 community projects.

The cookbook costs $15. It can be purchased at Washington County Agricultural Education Center at 7303 Sharpsburg Pike, south of Hagerstown. Copies also can be ordered by email at or by phone at 301-791-1304 for pick up at the ag center.

Payment can be made by cash or check. All the funds raised by the cookbook support the educational programs of the master gardeners.

Volunteer educators with the University of Maryland Extension, master gardeners teach people safe, effective gardening practices that build healthy gardens and communities. They give educational talks, create demonstration gardens, offer plant clinics and therapeutic horticulture programs, and host information booths at community events.

For more information about the master gardener program, call Annette Cormany at 301-791-1604 or send an email to

TOPS 0077

Pat Hicks and Carol LeClaire were the best losers of the week for TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Chapter 0077 in Hagerstown.

The best KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) losers were Rosemary Gill and Dorothy Smith.

The no-no food is snack for the week is crackers. Patsy Price won the ha-ha prize.

Fifty two members weighed in in October and 32 had perfect attendance. The honored KOPS were Maida Law, Bonnie Barnhart and Joan Gilbert. The best losers were Rita McPherson, Marylou Edmands, Nancy Mullenix and Dottie Alexander. Mullenix is one-quarter to her goal.

Susie Sword and Mullenix were vote shining Stars.

Pam Nery and Mullenix will conduct a Hawaiian holidays contest for 13 weeks. There will be a luau for the winning team.

The group collected 410 cards and 70 gifts for the troops.

Hats, mittens, gloves and scarves will be collected until Dec. 5.

The annual Christmas Party will be on Dec. 12.

The wight-loss support group meets Mondays at First Christian Church, 1345 Potomac Ave. in Hagerstown.

Weigh-in is from 7 to 9:15 a.m. and the meeting is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

For more information, call Patsy Price at 301-582-2292 or Patsy Martin at 301-733-1905.

TOPS 0308

TOPS Chapter 0308 met Friday for a program about food labels.

Susan Wilson led the discussion with information from the American Heart Association and TOPS recommendations. Dodie Ruskie provided a new recipe for the vegetable of the month, cabbage.

Wilson was the best loser during the weekly weigh-in.

The chapter will not meet over the Thanksgiving holiday.

At the next meeting on Dec. 2, the group will begin collecting contributions of paper products, canned goods and fall fruits and vegetables such as apples, potatoes and winter squash to donate to Holly Place.

The group meets Fridays at Christ Lutheran Church, 216 N. Cleveland Ave. in Hagerstown. Weigh-in is at 4:30 p.m. and the meeting is from 5 to 6 p.m.

For more information, call 240-722-8056 or 301-730-1638.

Share your news

Call 240-217-5051, send an email to or send a fax to 301-797-8052.

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Garbage disposal tips

Your garbage disposal is headed into crunch time. The holidays, with their endless vegetable peels and plate scrapings, make this hardworking appliance, found in just over half of American homes, work overtime.

“The day after Thanksgiving is our busiest day of the year,” says Paul Abrams, spokesman for Roto-Rooter, a major provider of plumbing, sewer and drain cleaning services. “It’s the time your plumbing is getting a real workout.”

Abrams has a file of horror stories he’s compiled from his plumbers, involving disposals clogged with whole Cornish game hens and chunks of green glass from Little Kings Cream Ale bottles.

Share this list of mistakes with your household before the holiday crush. And keep those Cornish game hens away from the sink.

Using the wrong operating sequence. For best operation, follow this order, says Chad Severson, president of InSinkErator, a major manufacturer of disposals: First, start running cool water. Second, turn on the disposal. Third, gradually put food in (don’t shove it in all at once). Run the disposal until food is gone (usually 30 seconds is enough). Turn it off and let the water run for another 10 or 15 seconds to flush out the drain.

Not cleaning it correctly. Sprinkle in a bit of baking soda to freshen and clean. Have a couple of lemon or lime slices left over after a party? Toss them in; they work as cleaners and can eliminate odors. Grind up a few ice cubes, which will knock off bits of food that may be caught inside the disposal. Never use bleach or harsh drain cleaners, Severson says, as they could cause a malfunction.

Running hot water while grinding waste. Cold water is preferred, as it allows any fat or grease to move through the pipes intact, Severson says. Hot water could melt fat and clog a pipe.

Shoving in nonfood items. The list of no-nos includes wooden matches, cigarettes, rubber bands and twist ties, and of course glass. Stick to only food waste, Abrams says.

Pouring grease or fat into the disposal. Grease can solidify in the pipes like candle wax, Abrams says. In this case, your grandmother’s system of pouring bacon grease into a coffee can kept by the stove is still good today. Use any metal can, glass bowl or jar and let it cool.

Calling for service too soon. Resist the urge to call for repair before you have tried these two things, Abrams says: Start by turning the unit off. Press the reset button under your unit (it’s usually red). This acts as a local circuit breaker and hopefully will let you re-establish power. If that doesn’t work, get out your jam key, which is sold with most disposals. (No worries if you can’t find it; a quarter-inch Allen wrench also works fine.) Insert the tool into the hole in the bottom of the disposal housing. Rotate it back and forth to see whether you can clear the jam.

– Jura Koncius, Washington Post


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Garden Tips: Keep garden tools in tip-top shape – Tri

This past spring, I was horrified to find that my father’s favorite shovel had accidentally been left outside all winter.

It definitely was going to require special care and effort to get it back into shape. Because time is always in short supply at the beginning of the growing season, I put it on the to-do list for this fall and winter.

Let me tell you more about this shovel. It is a small-bladed digging shovel that my father bought in his later years at a local hardware store. I knew it was his favorite, but neglected to ask him why he liked it. Now that I am older, I think I know the answer. This small shovel is easier for weaker or small-framed gardeners to use.

Did you know that there are different sizes of shovels? Big, sturdy gardeners can easily use a No. 2-sized digging shovel, with a blade that is about 9 inches wide and 12 inches tall. You can also find shovels with smaller blades, including No. 1 with a 8.5-by-11-inch blade, No. 0 with a 6-by-7.5-inch blade, and No. 00, with a 7-by-9-inch blade. My father’s shovel is a diminutive No. 0 with a straight wooden handle.

My father did not usually buy top-of-the-line garden tools because he was good about taking care of his tools. He never would have left his shovel out in the rain or over the entire winter. I learned from him that good tool care is important whether you buy an inexpensive shovel or one of the best quality.

Because the moisture over the winter raised the grain on the shovel handle and made it hard to use, I will start getting my father’s little shovel back in shape by first sanding the handle. I will begin with a medium sandpaper, such as 80 grit, to smooth off the roughest parts and then switch to a finer sandpaper, such as 120 grit, to smooth it further.

The next step will be to remove the rust on the blade using a wire brush. There is a fairly heavy layer, so it might be easier to use the rotary wire brush attachment on my hand drill and then switch to some medium 80 grit sandpaper. I might even start with a commercial rust removal product to make the job easier.

I do not have my father’s skill for using a flat file to sharpen tool blades. So if the little shovel’s blade seems dull, I will take it to a local shop for sharpening. A sharp digging blade without lots of nicks and burrs definitely makes the task easier.

The final step will be oiling the handle and the blade. I will paint the handle with a liberal coat of boiled linseed oil and then wipe off the excess after letting it soak in for an hour or two. I may repeat this treatment again before the beginning of the gardening season next year.

To help retard rust on tool blades, some gardeners use a light coating of clean motor oil, but instead I plan to apply a commercial aerosol lubricant recommended for rust protection.

Once I get my father’s little shovel back in shape, I am resolved to do a better job of caring for it and my other garden tools. They will be cleaned, dried and put away promptly after they are used.

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

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UNStudio and Heerim unveil lush, garden-filled development for Seoul

Dutch firm UNStudio and Korean firm Heerim just won a competition to design a lush masterplan for the Eunma Housing Development in Daechi-Dong, Seoul. The project will redevelop and expand an existing residential site in Gangnam and add a new garden landscape that differentiates and connects the neighborhoods of the 32 apartment towers. The architects describe the design as a “resident-driven development” that focuses on community, landscape, and walkability.

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The existing 32-tower site comprises over a million square meters with 4,424 apartments. UNStudio and Heerim will completely redevelop the current homes into a “new and future-oriented eco-design” that adds over 1,500 new apartments by replacing the 35-story towers with 50-story towers. All parking will be tucked underground to make room for a new garden landscape. The buildings are south-oriented and glazed to maximize natural light and cross ventilation.

Eunma Housing Development by UNStudio and Heerim, Eunma Housing Development in Gangnam, Eunma Housing Development in Seoul, resident driven development, new apartment construction in Seoul, UNStudio masterplan in Korea,

Related: UNStudio’s sculptural Fairyland Guorui Villa mimics Beijing’s river landscape

The redevelopment follows a “Live, Work, Play” philosophy and is organized around six themed gardens that break the massive residential area down into neighborhood blocks that inspire education. The six gardens include: the Curiosity Forest, Excitement Garden, Alluring Urban-ground, Contemplation Cloud, Playfulness Park and Longevity Fields. The development is also further divided into four circular themed zone to create a total of 24 neighborhoods, all with access to greenery, lively streets, and easy connections to mass transportation, educational centers, and recreation facilities. Six “iconic towers” clustered at the center of the site house facilities catering to luxury urban living, art, culture, and healthy lifestyles.

+ UNStudio

+ Heerim

Images via UNStudio

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Get decorating and remodeling ideas: Duniway Holiday Home Tour (photos)

Are you looking for warm ways to decorate for the holidays and maybe remodeling ideas for the new year?

The 38th Annual Duniway Holiday Home Tour Boutique on Friday, Dec. 2 is your chance to see inside six private residences, newly improved and decked out with Christmas trees, ornaments and other festive decor.

The Southeast Portland houses range in age and styles, from a 1914 farmhouse to a 1939 Cape Cod, and their owners are eager to showcase updated kitchens, luxury master suites and clever conversions, such as making a garage a private guest retreat.

Ticket holders ($30, or $25 in advance can take a trolley to visit a a 1923 Tudor decorated with accents of rustic industrial, a 1925 Colonial Revival with a new master suite that expanded into the sleeping porch, a 1929 Tudor that has been owned by the same family for almost a half century and a 1937 English Cottage with Roman brick walls.

The self-paced tour, held in two sessions from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9 p.m., supports art and technology programs, classroom grants, library books, cultural arts and other academic enrichments for Duniway Elementary School students.

The tour begins at Duniway Elementary School, 7700 SE Reed College Place. Attendees can pick up their tour booklet at the Holiday Boutique in the Duniway gym. The boutique, from 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., is free and open to everyone.

Here are highlights of the houses on the 2016 Duniway Holiday Home Tour:

1914 farmhouse: A large sweeping deck invites visitors to the classic Americana home that has colonial and bungalow details. Completely remodeled and expanded in 2006, the home has an open floor plan and large windows. Window seats flank the fireplace in the living room, which leads to a deck-based entertaining space. The kitchen has a large breakfast bar and Schoolhouse Electric fixtures.

1923 Tudor: Modern and metal styles blend with vintage in this newly remodeled house with high vaulted ceilings. The kitchen has new counters, tile backsplash, lighting and flooring. The cabinets were repainted and rose gold hardware and fixtures installed. The room opens to a 1,000-square-foot deck overlooking a woodland parcel.

Up the stairs with the curving banister are bedrooms, including the master suite with a large bathroom reconfigured from an adjacent bedroom’s closet and Jack-and-Jill half bath. The living room leads into a garage that was converted into a guest suite with a bathroom, bedroom and sitting area at the end of an enclosed breezeway.

1925 Colonial Revival: The blue-painted house has white-frame windows, decorative molding and a Juliet balcony underneath an overhanging, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Prairie-style roof.

The traditional entryway leads to the dining room, living room or a grand staircase.

Walls in the kitchen were removed to open up the space. The owner designed the kitchen island to have a quartz counter propped up by legs made of railroad ties with iron feet.

Upstairs, a spare closet was incorporated into the master suite and an enclosed sleeping porch was remade for the master bath with a double vanity, claw-foot tub and a marble-and-tile shower stall.

French doors in the living room lead to a deck that spans the length of the home and overlooks the lawn.

1929 Tudor: This house has been owned by the same family for 44 years, with the son and his wife purchasing his childhood home from his parents. A unique, curved plaster wall and ceiling finish is seen in the living and dining rooms, and Oregon artists’ works are displayed.

A 1976 remodel included a family room addition, a new master suite carved from attic space and an enlarged kitchen that has a mix of the original appliances and updated Corian counter. The original bath has classic bathtub and tile.

1937 English Cottage: The recently restored home was designed by renowned architect Herman Brookman, who is also credited with Lloyd Frank’s Fir Acres estate, now the Lewis Clark College campus, and Temple Beth Israel in Northwest Portland. Here, Roman brick exterior walls rise to a fluted brick chimney.

Inside, improvements include opening up the sunroom while retaining the original turquoise tile floor and windows on three sides.

The original dining room is now a sitting room off the kitchen, and a dining table is in the formal living room near the restored fireplace. Furnishings, textiles and décor themes are from the owners’ exotic travels.

Upstairs ceilings were raised during the remodel. The enlarged master suite was created by enclosing part of the hallway and changing the location of doors. The master suite bathroom has a barrel-vault ceiling and a custom vanity.

The basement is a studio where one of the owners designs decorative tile, some of which are installed in the house. There’s a kiln in the garage and hydroponic greenhouse in the yard.

1939 Cape Cod: The landscaping and the interior of the home, especially the formal dining room, are heavily influenced by the owners’ love of France. There is a mix of art, from contemporary to classic. All period details — such as the bathroom tile work, hardware and crown molding — are original to the house, except for a kitchen remodel with a breakfast bar and a distinctive chevron pattern on the floor. A grand staircase leads to a large tango room where the owners host milongas.

— Homes and Gardens of the Northwest staff

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