Spring 2015 home & garden

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March 2015

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home& garden spring 2015

Kitchen Remodels • Gardening • Solar • Real Estate • DIY Projects • Water Conservation • Painting • Patio Furniture • Living Art • Landscaping • Fruit Trees • Carpet • Windows & Doors • Interior Design

A special supplement to

The CoasT News

March 20, 2015


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Compost: A cornerstone of organic gardening By The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation

REGION — If your goal is to grow your own food organically, the compost you make yourself at home is the best sure way to bolster the health of your garden. Compost improves your garden soil in many ways. It supplies organic matter and beneficial organisms, which creates a healthy environment for plants. Nature does the work of decomposing; people do the work of combining a mix of organic materials and making sure the pile has enough water and air. Compost allows you to ‘grow’ healthy soil, so you won’t need the chemical pesticides. Making the choice to compost also means that waste is diverted from the landfill. Alternatively, a nutrient rich soil amendment is created. Healthy soil=healthy plants=healthy people! Following is a comprehensive outline that shows what exactly composting is and why it is beneficial and gives you resources so that you can do it yourself at home.

What is composting? Composting is the controlled natural decomposition of organic material such as leaves, grass, fruit, and vegetable remains. In addition to these items you can also compost hair, manure, tea bags, coffee filters and grinds, egg shells, straw, paper and cardboard. Micro organisms break down the materials into nutrient rich soil called compost or humus. Essentially it is nature's way of recycling. The ingredients The most important part of a successful compost is the ingredients that go into it. The four components are greens, browns, water and air. The greens are the organic material such as fruit and vegetable remnants, fresh cut grass or leaves, garden debris, coffee grinds and manure. The greens are nitrogen rich materials that when combined with carbon (found in the browns) allow for efficient decomposition. Browns consist of dry dead leaves, twigs, and yard trimmings as well as wood chips, tea bags, egg shells, cardboard and paper. The browns are carbon rich materials that balance out the nitrogen and also help with decomposition. Water is extremely important for the decomposition of material. A warm, moist environment is necessary for the micro organisms to do their job effectively. The perfect consistency occurs when you squeeze a handful of the material and a couple

San Elijo Hills offers the latest in eco-friendly living and smart-home technology surrounded by an established community where family-friendly amenities are already in place. Courtesy image

SEH offers new single-family homes Compost supplies organic matter and beneficial organisms, which creates a healthy environment for plants. Courtesy photo

drops of water seep out like a wrung out sponge. Too much water will cause the material to rot and too little causes the process to grind to a halt. The organisms that break down the waste in your compost pile need air to survive. Aerating your compost pile by turning it will reduce odor and make the waste decompose faster, which mean's your compost will turn into fertile soil sooner. The benefits of backyard composting

Backyard composting is an important strategy for managing discarded resources. Yard trimmings and food scraps, taken together, make up one of the largest components of residential discarded resources. Backyard composting is one of the most economical and effective methods of recycling these organic materials. Composting saves energy and prevents air pollution By avoiding the collection and burying of yard trimmings in landfills, energy is saved. Less materials put out at the curb means fewer trips to the landfill by collection trucks, and less activity by the large earth moving tractors at the landfill. Composting saves money & water Compost created in your backyard replaces soil amendments you would otherwise have to purchase. Using compost also helps save money on your water bills by improving water penetration and retention and reducing runoff and evaporation. Compost improves garden soil

Adding compost to your soil will improve soil structure, improve soil chemistry and produce healthier plants. Whether your soil is a heavy clay or a sandy mix, adding compost will benefit its structure. Soil conditions can range from extremely alkaline to acidic. Soil could also be nutrient deficient or contain nutrients in excess. Compost helps soil chemistry by softening these extremes. Plants

grown in compost-amended soils tend to be healthier, exhibit resistance to some diseases, are more resistant to pests, show increased drought tolerance and require less watering. How to compost at home Composting bins are available for purchase Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation at 137 N. El Camino Real in Encinitas. The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation will host a free composting workshop from 10 a.m. to noon April 4 at the Harold E. Smerdu Community Garden at 1250 Laguna Drive in Carlsbad. If you want more information on the details of composting, environmental education, gardening, watershed protection, pollution prevention or sustainable living, contact Solana Center for Environmental Innovation by email at info@solanacenter.org, visit solanacenter. org or call our Rotline at

SAN MARCOS — San Elijo Hills offers the best of both worlds. The community on the highest point in coastal North County features stylish new homes with the latest in eco-friendly living and smart-home technology surrounded by an established community where family-friendly amenities are already in place. A variety of home styles are available at Bella Vista by Ryland Homes and at Sanctuary by Richmond American Homes. Homes are priced from the $800,000’s. The newest neighborhood in San Elijo Hills is Sanctuary, an exclusive collection of 62 single-level and two-story homes on secluded cul-de-sacs. Sanctuary showcases four graciously designed floorplans with 2,864 to 4,213 square feet of living space. The homes include three to seven bedrooms and 2.5 to seven baths. “Sanctuary features very popular one-story floorplans and an idyllic location near the Ridgeline Trailhead in eastern San Elijo Hills,” said Halé Richardson, director of marketing for San Elijo Hills. “The neighborhood design

enables most homes to border open space, giving the neighborhood a special connection to the outdoors and a sense of spaciousness,” she said. Bella Vista, a neighborhood of 106 two-story homes with very inventive outdoor living areas, is nearing closeout, with approximately five homes available. These impressive homes, ranging from 3,461 to 3,776 square feet, contain five bedrooms and four to 5.5 baths. Each of the models artfully showcases covered outdoor rooms that extend the living space and take full advantage of their hilltop location. “The best thing about living in San Elijo Hills is the sense of community that comes from living in a mature ‘small town’ where schools, shopping, parks, open space, and recreational opportunities abound,” Richardson said. The picturesque towncenter is the heart of the community and features a variety of small shops including a yoga studio, an art gallery and nail spa, as well as pottery painting, dry cleaners, a boutique realty office and a postal store. Additionally, there

are several eateries, including a wine bar, pizza and pub, a yogurt shop and a health-focused café. Anchors include Albertson’s grocery, complete with SavOn pharmacy, Chase Bank and a Chevron gas station. Framing a traditional town square is the 30-acre middle and elementary school campus, urban-style residences, and San Elijo Hills Park, a 19-acre park with a community center, lighted ball fields, playgrounds, picnic areas and an interactive fountain. The community is also home to Double Peak Regional Park, which sits atop the 1,644-foot Cerro de las Posas and offers 360-degree views of Dana Point, the Catalina Islands, Big Bear and Point Loma. Eighteen miles of trails crisscross the community’s 1,100 acres of open space, giving bicyclists, walkers and runners stunning views of the ocean and backcountry. The San Elijo Hills Visitor Center, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is located at 1277 San Elijo Rd., San Marcos. For more information on San Elijo Hills, visit sanelijohills.com or call toll-free 888-SANELIJO (726-3545).

tenth annual

Encinitas Garden Festival & Tour Saturday, April 18, 2015 • 10am– 4:30pm

Join us in celebration of our 10 year anniversary as we go back to our roots, exploring quintessential Encinitas, full of succulents, avocados, ocean breezes, and beautiful vistas. Come explore our free Gardener’s Marketplace for a variety of vendors, exhibitors, and guest speakers. Every garden enthusiast will find inspiration within the mature coastal landscapes, eclectic plant collections, edible landscapes, and breathtaking scenery.

Don’t delay! tickets are limited and usually sell out. Early Bird Tickets (ages 11 and up) $25* Children (up to age 10) $10 *March 15 to April 10

Adult tickets April 11 to 17: $30 Adult at-the-event tickets: $35

Purchase Tickets at these Nurseries Anderson La Costa, Encinitas • Barrels & Branches, Encinitas • Cedros Gardens, Solana Beach Glorious Gardens, Encinitas • Green Thumb, San Marcos • Sunshine Gardens, Encinitas The Madd Potter, Encinitas • Weidner’s Gardens, Encinitas OR ON OUR WEBSITE

www.EncinitasGardenFestival.org • 760.753.8615 Our proceeds support community gardening projects throughout the City of Encinitas including Encinitas schools through our Garden Festival Fund at the Coastal Community Foundation. The Encinitas Garden Festival & Tour is a 501( c) (3) charitable organization.


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Water wisely for a beautiful garden By Melinda Myers

REGION — Too much or not enough water and never when you need it. That seems to be the long time plight of gardeners. Add to this extended droughts, flooding and watering bans. What is a gardener to do? Become a water-wise gardener. Water wise is not just about growing drought tolerant plants or eliminating plantings. It is a holistic approach to managing water to avoid flooding that overwhelms sewer systems, improper watering that wastes water, and poor landscape designs that generate too much work and require too many resources. Make this the season that you incorporate a few waterwise habits into your gardening. You’ll find it is good for your garden, the environment and your pocketbook. Start with one or more of these strategies this year. • Select the right plant for the growing conditions. Plants that thrive in normal growing conditions for your area will be healthier, require less care and need less water. Look for drought tolerant plants that require less water once established. • Keep water out of the storm sewers and in the garden instead. Prevent flooding while improving your garden. Adding several inches of compost to the top 8 to 12 inches of soil increases the soil’s ability to absorb and retain water. This means less runoff into the storm sewers and less frequent

Make this the season that you incorporate a few waterwise habits into your gardening. Courtesy photo

watering. • Use plants to prevent runoff and conserve water. Plant trees, shrubs, and groundcovers to slow the flow of rainwater, increase the amount of water that stays in your landscape for your plants, and to filter water before it enters the groundwater. Install one or more rain gardens to intercept surface water runoff for use by rain garden plants and to help recharge the groundwater. • Provide plants with a healthy diet. Use a slow release non-leaching organic nitrogen fertilizer like Milorganite (milorganite.com). You’ll encourage slow steady growth, so your plants will require less water and be less prone to insect and disease problems. Plus, the

slow release nitrogen encourages healthy growth and does not prevent flowering and fruiting. • Water wisely. Water plants thoroughly and only when needed. Water the soil, not the plant, using a watering wand, drip irrigation or a soaker hose so less water is lost to evaporation. Water early in the morning whenever possible to reduce water loss during the heat of the day and diseases caused by wet foliage at night. • Manage your lawns to reduce water use. Select drought tolerant grass varieties to reduce watering needs. Prepare the soil before seeding or sodding or aerate and spread a thin layer of compost over existing lawns to increase water absorption and reduce runoff. Mow high to encourage deep roots that are more drought tolerant and pest resistant. Allow lawns to go dormant during hot dry weather. If irrigating, water thoroughly when needed, that’s when your footprints remain in the lawn. • Conserve water and reduce time and money spent on plant care. Mulch the soil around

trees, shrubs and other plants with several inches of woodchips, shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic material. Mulching reduces watering frequency, prevents soil compaction from heavy rainfall thus increasing water absorption. It also adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes. • Repair leaking faucets, fittings and garden hoses. A slow leak of one drip per second can waste up to nine gallons of water per day. • Look for and use wasted water. Collect the “warming water” typically wasted when preparing baths and showers. Use a five-gallon bucket to collect this fresh water and use it for your containers and gardens. Collect water from your dehumidifier and window air conditioners for use on flowering plants. Do not, however, use this water if environmentally harmful solvents have been used to clean this equipment. • Check with your local municipality if you are considering using gray water. Once you wash clothes, dishes or yourself, water is

classed as gray water and most municipalities have guidelines or regulations related to its use. • Harvest rainwater if your municipality allows. The ancient technique of capturing rainwater in jugs, barrels and cisterns has made a comeback. Collecting rain when it is plentiful and storing it until it is needed is one way to manage water for the landscape. But first check local regulations before installing a rain harvesting system. Several states have banned rain harvesting, while others offer rebates or rain barrels at a discount to gardeners. Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments. Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine.

Encinitas Garden Festival celebrates 10th anniversary ENCINITAS — The 10 year anniversary of the annual Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour features a self-guided walking tour of more than 20 private gardens in a serene and eclectic neighborhood of Encinitas. On April 18, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. residents will open their garden gates to welcome the public for this special one-day tour. The day long festival includes a Gardener’s Marketplace that serves as the event’s central hub. Marketplace vendors offer unusual plants, vegetable seedlings, garden art, food, beverages and more. Exhibitors and guest speakers provide information about gardening in San Diego, covering topics such as succulents, drip irrigation, composting, fruit trees at home, and water-wise gardens. The 2015 tour showcases quintessential Encinitas, full of succulents, avocados, ocean breezes and beautiful vistas. A variety of garden styles will appeal to all levels of garden enthusiasts. Experience mature coastal landscapes, eclectic collections, and sea air tolerant plantings on streets perfect for strolling. Visitors tour each garden at their own pace while simply enjoying the scenery or gathering ideas for their own outdoor spaces. All attendees park offsite (at no charge). Double-decker buses shuttle tour guests between the parking lot and the Gardener’s Marketplace. From the marketplace, attendees set out on foot into the surrounding neighborhood for a self-guided walking tour of the featured gardens. Parking details as well as information regarding event sponsorship and/or volunteering is available at encinitasgardenfestival.org. Tickets are now available online or at participating local nurseries. Early Bird Tickets (for ages 11 and up) are $25 from March 15 to April 10. Adult tickets are $30 from April 11 to April 17. Adult at the event tickets are $35; children (up to age 10) $10. The Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour, a nonprofit organization, donates to the community by supporting gardening and horticultural projects including but not limited to the San Diego Botanic Garden, Community Resource Center, the Encinitas Library and their garden book section, horticultural scholarships at Mira Costa College, Healthy Day Partners, and garden projects at local schools through the Encinitas Garden Festival Fund at the Coastal Community Foundation. For more information on the Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour visit encinitasgardenfestival.org.


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James Haggard of Haggo’s Organic Taco in Leucadia contributes his recipe for his famous and sought-after Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup recipe. Courtesy photo

LEUCADIA — Spring time means flowers blooming, bees buzzing, and some delicious foods made with local organic vegetables. When we asked James Haggard of Haggo’s Organic Taco in Leucadia if he had a recipe to contribute, he agreed to share his famous and sought-after Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup recipe with The Coast News readers. And if you want it made by the chef himself, stop by his restaurant and it just might be on the menu if you’re lucky … For more information, visit haggosorganictaco.com or stop by at 1302 N. Coast Highway 101, Suite 101 in Leucadia.

• Add ginger. Peel skin with peeler. Use cheese shredder and shave into small minced pieces. • Add yellow onion, ginger, celery, leeks, garlic into stock pot. Add ¼ olive oil. Simmer sauté sweat down until soft. • Add 1 quarts of water, bay leaf, tomato paste, carrots, brown sugar, Spike Seasoning, thyme, nutmeg. • Simmer stock pot un-

til carrots are tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. • Add sea salt toward end. • With soup ladle, transfer into blender and puree all of the soup until smooth. • Finish to taste with additional sea salt, brown sugar and if ginger isn’t strong enough add ginger powder in VERY SMALL amounts. Be careful, it can be strong.

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VEGAN CARROT GINGER SOUP (Makes 2 quarts) INGREDIENTS 1 small fresh ginger 1 leek, finely chopped ½ large yellow onion, finely chopped 3 celery spears, finely chopped 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 pound peeled carrots ½ teaspoon sea salt 3 tablespoons brown sugar ½ can coconut milk Dash of nutmeg and thyme 1 tablespoon Spike Seasoning (optional) 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 bay leaf

rots

FOR GARNISH Cilantro, julienned carINSTRUCTIONS: Use small stock pot

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Freshen up your SummerHouse Carlsbad luxury beach home with ‘green’ condos are now open for pre-selling spring cleaning tips REGION — It’s out with the old and in with the new as spring quickly approaches. To inspire the community’s spring cleaning efforts, Waste Management of Southern California is offering a few simple tips to clean your home in an eco-friendly way. “Spring is a time for new beginnings inside the home and out,” said Eloisa Orozco, spokeswoman for Waste Management of Southern California. “By making a few small changes in your usual cleaning routine, the entire family can work together to easily finish the task of spring cleaning with a reduced impact on the environment.” The following tips and tasks will elevate your spring cleaning ritual and result in a clean and green home: Instead of turning on fans that waste electricity, dust off your windowsills and open windows to let fresh air in and stale air out. Avoid the use of chemical air fresheners, which use perfumes to mask the smell of toxic chemicals. Instead, use baking soda, dried flowers or cedar blocks to freshen up a room. Opt for vinegar instead of chemically-based cleaners and scrubs. Vinegar is a very effective, natural cleaning agent that can be used to wash everything from kitchen floors to windows with little to no effect on the environment. Make sure to dispose of any dangerous chemicals correctly instead of pouring them down the drain or into the trash. Reading product labels carefully will ensure that toxic chemicals remain in designated areas and don’t seep into our food and water system after being incorrectly disposed. Begin a compost pile in your backyard! Springtime is a great time to start and as the temperatures rise, compostable items including old food, spices and coffee grounds will break down more easily. For more information on how to compost, visit 2.epa.gov/ recycle/composting-home. Donate unwanted clothing items such as shirts, pants and shoes to second-hand stores or hold a garage sale.

Prospective buyers can get a first-hand look at the sun-drenched coastal views from Zephyr’s SummerHouse Carlsbad luxury beach condos — now open for pre-selling. The 35-unit community boasts direct beach access with sweeping views of the ocean and Buena Vista Lagoon. Moveins start this year. As part of Zephyr’s unique building style, each of the 35 floor plans, featuring California Coastal architecture, vary from building to building, with eight different styles. The single-story condominiums range from 1,800 to 2,700 square-feet with two bedrooms, which also include a den, to three bedrooms and two to three bathrooms. Other fine touches include disappearing La Cantina doors on to the large lanais, spacious kitchen islands, top of the line appliances, designer cabinets and detailed interior finishes. Each will feature a water view from a large private balcony. SummerHouse brings a hospitality model to residential living with a luxurious concierge service that will cut down on planning time and maximize fun in the sun. Onsite service will be available to perform a range of tasks such as scheduling a surf

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The 35-unit community boasts direct beach access with sweeping views of the ocean and Buena Vista Lagoon. Courtesy photo

lesson or walking the dog. The concierge will also be able to provide kayaks, paddle boards, beach chairs, bicycles, tents and other equipment beach-living residents might need for their daily adventures. On-site amenities include a pool, fire pits and cabanas, and a fitness center. The Carlsbad Village is also just steps away, offering entertainment, shopping and dining. Plus, the condos have direct access to surf and sand.

Whether it’s a paddleboard lesson in the grand Pacific Ocean, or margaritas with friends, all the best of Carlsbad is just a stroll away. The seaside lifestyle is made complete with a full range of recreational options nearby, including the ocean for fishing, paddle boarding and water skiing, and Calaveras Park for hiking and mountain biking. SummerHouse is located at 2303 Ocean St., a half-mile from the Coaster

Station and a short ride to downtown San Diego and the Zoo. It is also in close proximity to Palomar Airport, which offers private and commercial flights. Prices range from $1.3 million to $2.4 million. The sales center is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather and construction permitting, and private showings can be scheduled by calling (760) 2078463. For more information, visit summerhouse -carlsbad.com.

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Get your garden in shape this spring Paul Redeker, director of horticulture at San Diego Botanic Garden, offers seasonal advice for gardeners By Laurie Sutton

ENCINITAS — Paul Redeker knows plants. He is the director of horticulture at San Diego Botanic Garden, but his expertise runs deeper than just his career. His family tree includes generations of farmers, so it’s something he was born into and feels passionately about. With the arrival of spring, Redeker was the perfect person to talk to about local horticulture and ask for advice about seasonal planting. Redeker came to San Diego by way of Northern California. He worked as director of horticulture at the Water Conservation Garden prior to his current post at San Diego Botanic Garden that began almost two years ago. “I grew up on a little ranch raising animals and working with plants and landscape,” he said. “I migrated my way down south and fell in love with San Diego.” For a plant guy, what’s not to love? “We are so fortunate to have such a mild climate and warm temps,” Redeker said. “It’s amazing what we’re able to plant here at San Diego Botanic Garden. We enjoy a semi-arid climate with mild, sunny weather throughout the year so we’re able to showcase many different plants from all over the world. When you visit the garden, you see that we are so spoiled.” He added that when visitors come from out of state or even other countries, they can enjoy the view of the variety of plants, but they may not have the ability to grow the same things at home. Lucky to live in such an accommodating climate for planting, Redeker said that many backyard gardeners love to grow edibles in their own home and now is the time to plant vegetables like beans, carrots, chives, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, parsleys, peas, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, thyme and much more. Because water is so important to conserve in Southern California, for those looking for drought-tolerant additions to their landscapes, Redeker advises that cactuses and succulents gardens, though they are beautiful in their own right, aren’t the only options available. For a more lush-looking landscape, there are countless options to choose from. Just a couple of alternatives may include plants like Spanish Lavender, Geraldton Wax Flower, California Poppies and California Lilac. Once you know what you want to plant, Redeker has offered tips on how to plant correctly.

California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica Courtesy photos

• The first year a new landscape is installed, even drought-tolerant plants need to become established before they are truly drought-tolerant. “Water regularly for the first and sometimes even the second season,” Redeker said. “The new plant has been grown and adapted to a light, rich planting mix at the nursery and it’s not used to your more dense soil. The mother soil is often very different, can hold water at a different tension level, and the root ball may dry out faster once it is planted.” He added that once the roots are established, you can cut back on water and adapt to that plant’s watering requirements. • Know your plant and know your soil. How a plant does will depend on the type of plant and the type of soil. You want to loosen the soil when you’re planting. “The container soil and root ball need to be broken up and incorporated into the existing soil as soon as possible,” Redeker said. “Some plants

don’t like their roots to be messed with at all. You have to know your material. Pay attention to the soil type. If it’s rich in organic matter, it probably won’t need any amendments. If it’s a horrible soil, and you can tell by looking at it, you might need to add to it.” • Water immediately after you plant. “Some people get into planting and perhaps either get sidetracked or busy planting many plants at the same time,” Redeker said. “An hour or two might go by or longer. You want to remember to water right away, as roots are very vulnerable when they’re pulled out of the container.” • Bigger doesn’t mean better. “Don’t be pulled into buying the biggest plant in the nursery,” Redeker cautioned. “If it is large and the roots have gotten really tight in the container, it will be stressed out because it’s past the point it should have been planted. He advises to look for a plant that is still actively growing, but not overgrown.

California Lilac

• Compact your dirt. “Pack it really tight,” Redeker said. “Really condense it, because there is no way you can condense it as tight as the surrounding soil. Just don’t bury the crown.” • Fall is the best time to plant perennials. “Spring is still good, but it’s the second best time to plant in the landscape,” Redeker said. “I’m sure,

with our mild Southern California climate, that you can find San Diegans planting something any day of the year.” • Be mindful of temperature. “You need to keep a close eye on your new plants in the summer especially, to make sure they are getting enough water,” Redeker said. San Diego Botanic Garden has plenty of

events on tap to celebrate this spring. Coming up is Ladybug Day on April 18, the Chocolate Festival on May 9, and Endangered Species Day on May 15. The garden will also host a Build Your Own Hydroponic Spring Garden Class March 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a complete list of events and full details, visit sdbgarden.org.


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We spend a lot of time thinking about you.

It’s true. We wonder about where you want to live. How you want to live. What kind of floorplan you’ll like. The way you’ll use each room. The amount of storage you’ll need. How technology can make your life easier — and save you money every month. What kind of styles, materials and colors you’re drawn to. And how your needs might grow or change over time. It’s as important to us as it is to you. Because we want our home to feel like your home the moment you see it. Check out any of our neighborhoods in San Diego, and see where smart thinking leads. Because, at the end of the day, what we create, we create for you. To join our interest list and to learn more, call our Online Sales Counselor at 858-342-8797 or visit PardeeHomes.com. Seaview Terrace

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3 to 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths 1,549 to 1,713 sf (approx.) From the low $300,000s

5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths 3,636 to 4,351 sf (approx.) From the $1.2 millions

4 to 5 bedrooms, 4.5 to 5.5 baths 4,151 to 6,235 sf (approx.) From $1.8 million

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3 to 6 bedrooms, 3 to 4.5 baths 2,134 to 2,824 sf (approx.) Coming April 2015

3 to 5 bedrooms, 3 to 4 baths 2,077 to 2,588 sf (approx.) Coming April 2015

*All square footage is approximate; pricing subject to change. Information is accurate as of the date of the publication. Models do not reflect racial preference. Landscaping, trees, and shrubs not included in the purchase price. Subject to change without notice. See Sales Associate for details. CA Contractor’s License #251810.


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Expert help finding perfect flooring ENCINITAS — When it comes to choosing new flooring, it is becoming increasingly important to buyers to consider choices that are eco-friendly. Luckily, current trends in flooring make it possible to find the most beautiful and the most responsible choice together in one product. Littrell Flooring in Encinitas features IndoTeak, a brand of flooring that is manufactured from 100 percent reclaimed teak. With colors ranging from honey blonds to rich chocolates, this product is elegant and durable and does not contain wood from any Laura Littrell, owner of Littrell Flooring in Encinitas says she wants her living trees. clients to feel “value and welcomed.” Courtesy photo Owner Laura Littrell No matter the scope of she said. “I love helping is proud to offer IndoTeak. “It is absolutely beauti- the job, the client will al- people create a beautiful ful!” she said. In addition ways receive the same ser- environment that makes to IndoTeak, they offer vice. “Our goal is to build them happy.” an impressive selection of relationships and have con“Littrell Flooring hardwood, stone and tile tinued relationships with want’s our clients to feel and a large selection of car- our clients and their refer- valued and welcomed. We pet like Fabrica, Masland, rals.” want them to have only the Laura Littrell began in very best customer service Unique LTD, Cavan and flooring in 1996 and worked from the beginning of their many more. One of their newer of- her way up before opening experience to the end and ferings is from Nourison. the doors of her own busi- further. They will have a “Nourison is an absolute- ness earlier this year. “I wide variety of options and ly beautiful line of wool have truly enjoyed working a professional and accurate carpet beyond compare,” in the flooring industry,” job site measurement and Littrell said. When choosing which flooring option is best, Littrell works with her customers to consider a number of factors. “I think the most important aspect is to consider how the selection fits with the style of the home and how it complements the existing finishes in the home,” Littrell said. Aesthetics are a factor, but function should also be considered. “Selecting a floor that will perform with the client’s lifestyle is very important,” Littrell said. “The floor needs to look good for the long haul, not just when it is first installed.” Another consideration for buyers is warranties. Littrell cautions that some warranties might not be what they seem. “I feel too much emphasis is put on the length of warranties,” she said. “Twenty-five, 50-year and lifetime warranties are misleading to the client.” Small print and exclusions are often overlooked. Littrell works with her clients to figure out what is best for them based on their lifestyle. Pets, children, heavy sun, moisture and area of installation should all be taken into account. Homeowners, designers and custom home builders alike are all customers at Littrell Flooring and enjoy a wide selection of hardwood, carpet, stone and tile materials that can be purchased alone or in conjunction with full-service installation and design services. From a small residential project all the way to complete renovations, the team at Littrell Flooring takes care of its customers. “We have years of experience in residential new builds and remodels, commercial tenant improvements and hospitality. We have executed many beautiful custom designs for local country clubs.”

estimate. The installation will be supervised and the clients will have one point of accountability for their flooring experience.” Littrell is happy to bring her business to Encinitas. “I have always loved the community,” she said. Additionally, the location is convenient. “It is easy to access from I-5 off of Manchester and easy to get to from Encinitas, La Costa, Olivenhain and Rancho Santa Fe.” Littrell Flooring offers complimentary design service and professional estimates. They offer very competitive pricing and have a “to the trade” program for designers and contractors. Littrell Flooring is currently in the Grand Opening phase and is offering special pricing through the end of August. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and evening and weekend appointments are available. They are located at 2210 Encinitas Blvd., Suite A. For more information, visit littrellflooring.com or call (760) 642-2332.

Aspire Furniture — Fulfilling your dream of coastal living SAN MARCOS — Aspire Furniture embraces its North County atmosphere by trading its predominantly Tuscan look for an exciting new coastal style. Aspire, a family-owned retail furniture business in the San Diego marketplace, is highly regarded for emphasizing personal service, which helps its customers to unlock countless possibilities in terms of home furnishings. As a result of the continued success of the new coastal look in their Kauai showroom, the mainland business has decided to follow in its footsteps transitioning from Tuscan to Coastal. “We are emphasizing a fun, fresh, sophisticated coastal look that embodies multiple styles,” said Shannon Mercado, manager of the San Marcos location. “We will feature more transitional furniture that includes plantation, cottage, and beachy as well as lots of great new accessories that include whales, sea glass beads and lamps in an array of sea blues and greens.”

Since its origins in the 1990s, Aspire’s showroom has satisfied its customers with quality furniture possessing a Tuscan flair. It wasn’t until five years ago when business owners Jeff and Cindy McGee headed for Kauai to open up a Coastal-oriented showroom. Creating beautiful home environments for individual customers is the core principle of Aspire; according to Shannon Mercado. Going Coastal is the perfect way to embrace that philosophy. It’s a huge, stylish change for the company, and one that will match the vibrant, lively spirit of the San Diego region it serves. “The Coastal style allows us to present a new element of excitement and gives us a fun, new direction to work with,” said Shannon. “San Diego is a coastal city and I want to bring that same refreshing level of comfort to our San Marcos showroom.” Aspire Furniture is located at 1040 Los Vallecitos Blvd., Ste. 103, San Marcos, California 92069; call (760) 744-2662. We are open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sundays and Mondays.


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Two new neighborhoods by Pardee Homes REGION — Construction is underway in coastal-close Pacific Highlands Ranch where Canterra and Casabella by Pardee Homes are anticipated to open in mid-April following the successful grand opening of Verana in late February. Canterra and Casabella together will feature seven exciting new floorplans, all offering luxury, energy-efficient living just east of Carmel Valley. “We are pleased to bring this fresh collection of homes to North San Diego County,” said Liz Ramirez, regional director of marketing for Pardee Homes. “Unique to both will be the availability of Pardee’s exclusive GenSmart Suite option, allowing homebuyers to select a floor plan that includes a versatile ‘home within the home’ with a separate living and sleeping area that is ideal for extended living arrangements or visiting family and friends. These homes will also feature the LivingSmart® package of standard and optional eco-friendly features that increase energy-efficiency and save water as well as incorporating materials that come from recycled and sustainable resources.” Homebuyers can currently join the interest

list to receive important updates throughout the development of these new communities by visiting pardeehomes.com. Canterra will feature timeless, two-story living in three open plan designs. Each home will embrace the indoor-outdoor way of life and include spacious great rooms, generous dining rooms, space-enhancing lofts and well-defined first-floor bedrooms. Homes will have four bedrooms, three to four baths and approximately 2,644 to 3,311 square feet; pricing will be from the low $900,000s. Stylish Casabella, priced from the mid $900,000s, will offer three to four bedrooms with three bathrooms, two- and three-bay garages and approximately 2,134 to 2,824 square feet. Four upscale, two-story plans will offer great room living, lofts, covered patios, optional prep or chef’s kitchens and optional spa showers. The grand opening of Verana on Feb. 28 attracted hundreds of home shoppers, and resulted in the sale of seven homes. With such strong interest, Pardee Homes will release a second phase March 28. Verana features three floor plans with four to five bedrooms, three to four baths and approximately 2,645 to 3,518 square feet.

New home construction is underway in Pacific Highland Ranch where Pardee Homes is building two new neighborhoods — Casabella and Canterra. These two new neighborhoods will offer two-story homes with up to approximately 3,311 square feet. Courtesy photo

These two-story homes, with two- and three-bay garages, have open, airy floorplans with great room living, covered patios, lofts and options such as den/ offices and extended patios to maximize indoor and outdoor living in addition to the GenSmart Suite option. Verana is priced from the low $1 millions. Master-planned Pacific Highlands Ranch occupies one of San Diego's best coastal-close locations. Surrounded by 1,300 acres of preserved natural habitat, this exciting Pardee Homes community demonstrates the principles of LivingSmart® beautifully with remarkably energy-ef-

ficient homes, drought-tolerant landscaping and a multi-use trail system for hiking and biking. A proposed private recreation center with swimming pool is planned for this area of Pacific Highlands Ranch. The community is surrounded by 1,300 acres of preserved natural habitat and back country views while also offering residents close proximity to beaches, shopping, parks and hiking trails, and Trader Joe’s in The Village Center is scheduled to open in late March. The neighborhood is served by many private schools and the highly-rated Del Mar Union School

District for public schools such as Sycamore Ridge Elementary School. The San Dieguito Union High School District, including Torrey Pines High School and Canyon Crest Academy, serves older students. A new middle school is currently under construction in Pacific Highlands Ranch. For more information call (858) 342-8797 or go to pardeehomes.com. Established in 1921, Pardee Homes is recognized for superior master-planning concepts, quality construction, energy-efficient building practices, responsive customer service and dedication to the educational and civic

goals of the communities in which it builds, Pardee Homes was one of the first builders in San Diego to embrace sustainable building practices and continues to build consideration for the planet into every home and community. Pardee Homes is a member of TRI Pointe Group (NYSE: TPH), a family of premium regional homebuilders supported by the significant resources, economies of scale and thought leadership of a national foundation. Together this makes TRI Pointe Group one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S. For more information please visit pardeehomes.com.


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RC Energy Solutions: The trusted source for energy efficient homes Americans waste 71 percent of their heating bill and 46 percent of their air conditioning bill through windows and doors, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Co-founder Justin Lonson said RC Energy Solutions is different from other companies because their team specializes in Whole House Energy Efficiency. While installing a solar system is a smart, cost saving investment, it should always be accompanied by other important energy efficiencies such as Ventilated roof systems, wall and attic insulation, high performance windows and doors, energy efficient exterior wall coating, HVAC replacement and installation. All of which are products and services RC Energy Solutions specializes in.

“Smart Home Improvements”

“It doesn’t make sense to have 20 to 50 year old components in the home that are not energy efficient and then install a new solar system,” Lonson said. For example, a common problem is the lack of proper insulation. Homeowners that have walls, attics and crawl spaces that are properly insulated can save up to 20 percent off heating and cooling costs and reduce their overall energy by 10 percent. What started as a property management company in 1993, changed to fit a need which Lonson and co-founder Roy Campos realized wasn’t being met. “Once we noticed California building code requirements moving towards higher energy efficiency standards we saw an opportunity and transitioned ourselves into an energy efficiency focused construction company,” said Lonson.

The RC Energy Solutions team approaches each home differently to find a customizable solution that will maximize efficiency at the lowest cost. “RC Energy Solutions customized approach to each home’s scenario allows us to meet a wide range of customer needs and their individual budgets,” Lonson said. There are many financing options available which makes creating an energy efficient home simple and affordable. The energy efficient upgrades not only benefit the client but they also reduce people’s carbon footprints. Customers typically see an immediate energy bill reduction. For an energy efficient home call RC Energy Solutions for a free, personalized consultation at (760) 504-9273 or online at rcenergysolutions.com.

Take part in self-guided garden tour on Mother’s Day with the San Dieguito Art Guild ENCINITAS — The San Dieguito Art Guild, a nonprofit group that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, hosts their 2015 Mother’s Day Weekend Art, Garden & Studio Tour. This is a self-guided, driving tour on Mother’s Day weekend, May 9 and May 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Tickets are good for both days and homes may be re-visited. Take your mom or best friends on a leisurely tour of the 10 North County homes where you can peek into an assortment of fascinating artists’ studios, peruse more then 30 unique exhibits of locally made art, and relax in each unique coastal garden. Artists from the San Dieguito Art Guild will be positioned in the gardens — showing and selling their paintings, ceramics, glass, gourd art, fiber arts, photography, jewelry, and much more. Free refreshments will be served at every stop. The 10 homes are within easy driving distance in the Encinitas area. Many feature working artists’ studios. Four homes have full, drop-dead, gorgeous, 180-degree ocean views. Each home is as unique as the artists and owners are. This year’s tour chair, Laura Lowenstein says, “The art guild is gearing up for another wonderful tour of local homes with talented artists placed in each gar-

This is a favorite tour of many San Diegans, many of whom take this tour year after year. In keeping with their Mission Statement — The San Dieguito Art Guild is an organization dedicated

to furthering artistic understanding and fostering artistic growth of members and the community at large by promoting interest, education, knowledge and skills in the visual arts — 10 percent of the net proceeds from

the tour will be awarded to four promising students from MiraCosta College, Oceanside. For more information visit SanDieguitoArtGuild.com, by email at swanson121@cox.net or call (760) 805-0434.

The San Dieguito Art Guild is hosting a self-guided, driving tour on Mother’s Day weekend, May 9 and May 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Courtesy photo

den.

“We’re focusing on creating a warm and welcoming experience for families and friends to enjoy themselves surrounded by natural beauty and art,” she added. This event is the major fund-raiser of the year for the San Dieguito Art Guild. Without funds from this tour the Guild would operate at a loss. Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased at the Off Track Gallery or at OffTrackGallery.com

(available after April 1) or at each home both days of the tour.

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March 2015

North County home prices are rising REGION — Single family detached median home prices in North San Diego County remained steady at $575,000 in January 2015, compared to December 2014. Year-over median price for a North County single-family detached home increased slightly by 0.97 percent compared to $569,500 reported in January 2014 — continuing a trend beginning with the summer of 2012 of year-over median SFD price increases, according to the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® February HomeDex Report. Sold SFD Units in San Diego County Closed escrow sales of existing single-family detached homes in San Diego County totaled 1,211 units in January 2015. Sales in January were substantially down by 28.93 percent compared to December 2014, but were up slightly by 1.85 percent compared to last year. Total sales volume across the county was $823,602,088 in January 2015. Sold SFD Units in North County A total of 517 single-family detached units were sold in North County during the month of January 2015, a drop of 33.12 percent compared to December 2014. Year-over sold SFD units decreased slightly by 0.19 percent compared to January 2014. Total sales volume in North County for January 2015 was $405,366,572. Days on Market for North County Homes Median days-on-market for sin-

gle-family detached homes sold in North County was 40 days in January, compared to 30 days in December 2014.

the 5.2 months supply reported in January 2014. A six to seven month supply of unsold inventory is considered normal.

Countywide Unsold Inventory The available supply of unsold inventory for single-family detached homes in San Diego County was 5.0 months in January 2015, up compared to 3.4 months reported in December 2014. Year-over the January 2015 inventory is down from

North County Affordability The percentage of households that could afford a median-priced single-family detached home in North County was 26 percent in January 2015. Affordability percentages assume homeowners place 20 percent down and spend no more

than a third of their income on housing. Mortgage Rates Mortgage rates increased in February 2015 with the 30-year fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.71 percent, up from 3.67 percent in January 2015 and up from 4.30 percent in February 2014, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates in February 2015 averaged 2.43 percent,

up from 2.38 percent reported in January 2015, and down from 2.74 reported in February 2014. The North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (NSDCAR) HomeDex Reports provide housing statistics each month on 100 San Diego County ZIP codes. NSDCAR is one of the largest trade associations in San Diego County dedicated to providing advocacy, professional development and tools to REALTORS®. Visit nsdcar.com

where summer never ends NEW HOMES FROM $1.3 MILLION

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Green your home on a small or large scale source to give you free information on how you can do it at home. For more information on ways you can become more green at home, visitepa.gov, solanacenter.org and sdge.com/environment.

REGION — You’re using your own bags at the grocery store. You might even be driving a Prius. But what could you be doing to make your home more green? Whether you’re looking to make changes on a small or large scale, there are plenty of options that will make a difference in how you impact the planet. Appliances One change you can make is to switch over to Energy Star appliances. Any appliance you find with the Energy Star label is one approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as having superior energy performance. Not only are these products energy efficient, they are good for your wallet as well. Your energy bills will be reduced and there are also tax credits available for purchasing Energy Star products. Seal and insulate your home

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ROOF! ROOF!

tions available that are cost-effective as well. They can also be used to provide outdoor lighting. We tend to get plenty of sunshine in North County, so your home is likely a good candidate for this type of energy source.

Did you know that on average a home loses approximately 20 percent of the air and heat you use to poor ductwork? You’re using more energy and paying more money than you need to. Also, your comfort level is suffering. Have your ducts checked to make sure they are sealed and installed properly and you will start to conserve energy and cash. Another option to consider is exterior wall insulation. If you aren’t remodeling and your walls aren’t open, you can use injectable spray foam insulation. If you’re taking the DIY route, you can use blanket insulation, which isn’t as effective but it is inexpensive.

Conserve water There are many ways inside your house and out that you can conserve water — which is especially important here in Southern California. Low-water-use toilets and showerheads are easy upgrades you can make that will significantly reduce your water use. If you still have a traditional toilet, consider retrofitting your tank or filling it partially with something so that it can’t fill up with water. Also keep in mind that showers are much more efficient than baths. Be sure to check for leaks in your pipes as well, as those can add up to significant amounts of water over time.

Green power Solar power isn’t the only alternative source you can choose from. Energy can also be produced from wind, biogas and other low-impact hydroelectric sources. The EPA approves green power sources to be environmentally superior to conventional sources in that they don’t produce any fossil-fuel based greenhouse gas emissions. As for going the solar route, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge and expensive project. There are small, standalone op-

Reduce waste Reducing waste is a choice you can make every day that will have a great impact on our landfills. It also reduces the amount of materials produced, and therefore lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Look into salvaging reusable materials and recycling as a way to lessen the amount of waste you contribute. Composting is an effective and highly beneficial way to dispose of certain waste. Locally, the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation is a great re-


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A

Making waves in your landscape

nnel & Drew’s Kitchen is made up of a local culinary duo that loves to support our local farms and businesses. With a mission to have fun, make people happy, provide an original dining experience and create great food homemade food with as many local, organic ingredients as possible, their legions of fans would say, “Mission accomplished.” You can find Annel & Drew’s Kitchen at the State Street Farmers Market in Carlsbad on Wednesdays and the Leucadia Farmers Market on Sundays. They have shared one of their favorite recipes using local spring vegetables. For more about Annel & Drew’s kitchen, visit anneldrewskitchen.com.

By Kent Horner

Quinoa and Spring Veggie Cakes Makes 2 dozen cakes (leftovers are nice if there are any!) Cook Time: 30 minutes Prep Time: 30 minutes Cake Mix: 3 cups quinoa (cooked) *See attached recipe 1 bunch baby carrots = about 1 cup shredded 2-3 medium squash = about 1 cup shredded (mix with some salt and place on a strainer to let water release) 2 medium potatoes = about 1 cup shredded (You can substitute sweet potatoes when in season) 2 cups fresh spinach or Kale chopped 1 small bunch spring onions chopped 3 garlic cloves chopped 1/2 bunch cilantro or parsley chopped 1/2 cup ground flax seeds 1 cup garbanzo bean flour 1 cup coconut oil or grape seed oil for pan frying salt and pepper to taste 1) Combine all ingredients together in large bowl. Mix them well forming a pasty dough using your hands (better then spoon or fork). 2) Start shaping your cakes using wet hands into 1/4 cup measurer. Pack them nice and tight so they don’t fall apart. If the mixture is kind of loose, add a little more garbanzo flour & little bit of water to bind them better. 3) In a large skillet put oil just enough to cover the pan, turn the heat up to medium temperature until it gets hot.

Annel & Drew’s Kitchen is made up of a local culinary duo that loves to support our local farms and businesses.

Serve them with some sliced avocado and aioli. Salt to taste. For Quinoa: Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15-18 minutes approx. depending of the type of quinoa you get to use. 1 cups quinoa 1.5 cups hot water 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper 3 garlic cloves sliced fine 1 bay leaf 2 Tablespoons coconut oil

4) Start putting your patties in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes until they get crispy and golden brown then flip the patties and do the same to the other side. Note: Add more oil a little bit at a time if needed. Don’t use a lot of oil because cakes can get soggy, our goal is to get them crispy. Once they are ready, put them on a plate with a paper towel to dry them. Repeat steps 2-4 until all mixture is gone.

Preparation: lid.

Make sure you have at least a 4 quart pot with tight

Add quinoa to the pot with garlic and coconut oil. Toast on medium/low heat. Stir occasionally until quinoa has even light brown color. In the mean time, bring the 3 cups of water to a boil in a separate pot. Once the quinoa/garlic is toasted, combine with hot water, mix and bring to a boil. Add salt, pepper, bay leaf and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Check to make sure it’s cooked, remove from heat. Take lid off and cool. Chili Aioli Sauce : 1 cup vegenese or mayo. Add Sriracha, horseradish, sea salt to taste

2015 Mother’s Day Weekend Art, Garden & Studio Tour Sat & Sun, May 9 & 10 from 10am to 4pm

Tickets $20 each available after April 1

Tickets available on-line at:

OffTrackGallery.com

or at Off Track Gallery

937 South Coast Highway 101, Suite C-103, Encinitas (Lumberyard Shopping Center behind Starbucks and St. Tropez)

Or at each home on the days of the tour Self-driving tour — all homes are in Encinitas. Some are full-on ocean view most have working artists’ studios.

ART UILDY OSAN FF DTIEGUITO R A CK G A LGLER Off Track Gallery Est. 1965

San Dieguito Ar t Guild, Est. 1965

March 2015

Working in the field of landscape for so many years, I often assume that most people have a good working knowledge of horticulture and what is involved when creating a beautiful or functional garden. This may be true in many cases, however, this week I would like to go over some great tips and hidden secrets that can really make the difference when designing your own landscape spaces as well as the installation of your hardscape, trees, plants, lights and water features. One great secret that I always enjoy giving to people because I can see that it makes them think is that in nature, there are no straight lines. When you start to think about it, it really is true. Nature is very curvy! She loves the sine wave or in laymen’s terms, the zig zag. When you look at an ocean wave, it is really just a bump on the sea. It has a trough and a crest and many brothers following it from out to sea, which on big days, creates a corduroy set of sine waves running to the horizon. Rivers also come down from the mountains zigging and zagging around obstacles and cut deep into the canyon sides creating a curvy back a forth transition. Even the mountain tops and hills in the distance move up and down against the skyline in graceful form and never run in a straight line. The point to all this is that the design and implementation of curves in your landscape will automatically give you interest, a sense of calmness and mystery and make your garden feel absolutely natural no matter what type of plants or style you choose to impart. Now here is the trick. You also have to

think three dimensionally when you apply the zig zag. It works horizontally, vertically and linearly. For instance, let’s say you want to plant a group of trees or plants along a wall to soften it and create a natural looking design. There are many paradigms to this, like the hedge, groupings or focusing on color and texture, but the best way to start is with the zig zag. The eye loves to see movement. Place your tallest like plants in a small group of three along the wall or structure that you are trying to soften. It will create a screening panel. Then leave an open space between this group and the next grouping of the same tall plants that you are installing. In the open spaces in between these tall groupings, you can put smaller and completely different plants for texture and interest. Make sure the smaller plants have a finite height at maturity. This allows the heights to vary. If you visually draw a line along the tops of all the plants, it will create a repetitive pleasing sine curve that feels natural. The gaps between the groupings of the taller plants will also allow the space to breathe. But you are not done yet. As you place these groupings along the wall or structure that you are trying to soften, do not place them in a straight line mimicking the property line or boxy structure you are hiding. Bring them in and out away from the wall using the zig zag principal. As you do this moving along the planter, you will create greater depth and a much more natural feel for the plantings as they transition in and out of your garden. The curve itself is incredibly important for the transition of your hardscape as well. By moving the edge of your patio back in forth in a pleasing curve near a perimeter or structure, you can reduce the flat limiting feeling of a fence. This moving border will create larger planter spaces and accommodate larger plant specimens that otherwise would not fit into a small parallel planting area. One of my favorite tricks for helping with a “bowling alley” back yard is to move the hardscape patio border in toward the house while zigging and zagging. This creates interest and a larger planter that will divide the back yard into a couple of rooms or living spaces.


March 2015

Countywide water use shrinks 28% REGION — Yearover-year water use in San Diego County declined by nearly 30 percent for the second straight month in January, another sign that the residents and businesses are taking additional steps to conserve water and comply with mandatory water-use restrictions during what’s shaping up to be a fourth consecutive dry year. The savings occurred despite continued high temperatures and economic growth putting upward pressure on water consumption. Regional water use dropped by 28 percent in January compared to January 2014 — a savings of 12,000 acre-feet of water, enough to serve approximately 24,000 typical four-person households for a year. “Clearly, the region is embracing the challenge to conserve, and we appreciate all the efforts to cope with ongoing drought conditions,” said Mark Weston, chair of the San Diego County Water Authority’s board of directors. “It’s critical that residents and businesses continue to limit their water use, particularly on landscapes, as the weather warms up. The more we can cut back now, the better off we will be this summer and fall.” The decrease in water use in January followed a 29 percent decrease in year-over-year water use in December. It was achieved even though the average daily maximum temperature at Lindbergh Field in January was 4.3 degrees above average and rainfall was only 21 percent of normal. January was the 15th consecutive month of above-average temperatures in San Diego. Last year was the hottest year on record in San Diego County and California (dating back to 1895), and 2012-2014 was the driest three-year period on record for the state. January’s decrease in potable water use is based on figures reported to the Water Authority by its 24 member agencies, which also report water use data to the State Water Resources Control Board. Across San Diego County, water agencies have adopted mandatory water-use restrictions and they are preparing for the potential of reduced imported water supply allocations later this year. The Water Authority’s largest supplier, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, announced on Feb. 9 that its board of directors likely would consider cutting deliveries to its customers at its April meeting. Cutbacks, if adopted, would take effect July 1. However, two decades of San Diego regional investments in water supply reliability

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will reduce the impact of any allocations by MWD by about half. Those investments include independent Colorado River water transfers and the Carlsbad Desalination Project, which is expected to start producing 50 million gallons a day of drinking water as soon as this fall. “We have spent decades preparing for dry times, and we have an orderly plan to manage supply allocations while maintaining a strong economy and our quality of life,” said Maureen Stapleton, general manager of the Water Authority. “Conservation is a critical part of that strategy, and we thank everyone who has already made it part of their daily routine. Let’s all agree to do more in the days and weeks ahead.” State officials have said it would take heavy precipitation and cooler temperatures over the next three months for the state to begin recovering from drought. Precipitation is about 84 percent of average at Lindbergh Field since the start of the “water year” on Oct. 1, though the region only gets a small percentage of its annual water supply from local rainfall. Precipitation in the northern Sierra Nevada is about average since Oct. 1. However, the Sierra snowpack is only at about 20 percent of its historical average for this time of year, and a scant snowpack means little runoff to meet water needs during the summer and fall. The current allocation from the State Water Project — an important water source for San Diego County — is at just 15 percent of requested supplies. The figure may fluctuate up or down depending on precipitation over the next few months. As a wholesale water agency, the Water Authority coordinates drought response actions for San Diego County. The regional Model Drought Response Ordinance, adopted by the Water Authority’s Board in 2008, established four levels of drought response with progressive restrictions. The strategy was designed to foster regional consistency and to align demand with supply during water shortages, while minimizing harm to the region’s economy. In July 2014, the Water Authority’s Board of Directors declared a Drought Alert condition calling for mandatory water conservation measures. Restrictions vary by member agency. For information about water-use rules by community, along with details about drought conditions and conservation-related resources, go to whenindrought.org.

HOME & GARDEN CALENDAR

Water-wise landscape contest REGION — Are you proud of your water-wise landscape? Vista Irrigation District is partnering with other water agencies to offer incentives for homeowners who have installed landscapes that What’s blooming around town? are attractive and water efficient. The California Beers for blooms Friendly Landscape ConVISTA — The Alta test is an opportunity for Vista Beer Gardens Pro- homeowners to showcase Am benefit will take their yards and have an place March 28. opportunity to win a $250 Tickets are $25 or gift certificate at a local $30 at the door for nine nursery. Contest applitaseters from local brew- cations are available at eries and mead brewers. 1391 Engineer Street in A six-course mead and Vista or online at www. food pairing is offered l a nd s c ap e conte st .com . for $60. The event will The deadline for subinclude a silent auction mitting an application is of rare beer and mead, a April 10, 2015. live band, food vendors and door prizes. Earth Day Festival The event benefits VISTA — Alta Vista the Alta Vista Botanical Gardens will hold a free Gardens and is open to Earth Day Festival from ages 21 and older only. 10 a.. to 3 p.m. April 11 Alta Vista Botanical Gar- at the gardens at 1270 dens is located at 1270 Vale Terrace Drive. This Vale Terrace Drive. family-friendly event will For more informa- feature kids crafts, planttion, visit avgproam. eventbrite.com or altavistagardens.org. Learn to compost CARLSBAD — The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation will host a free composting workshop from 10 a.m. to noon April 4 at the Harold E. Smerdu Community Garden
1250 Laguna Drive
in Carlsbad. Bonsai club ENCINITAS — Bonsai and Beyond will meet at 6 p.m. April 21 and every third Tuesday of the month at San Diego Botanic Gardens, at 230 Quail Gardens Drive. Bring gloves, plants, rocks and mostly imagination! For more information, call Phil at (858) 259-9598.

ing and games, music, Rancho Folklorico dancing, Creative Healing, planting fruit trees for Arbor Day, and food and craft vendors. For more information, call (760) 945-3954 or visit altavistagardens.org. Garden tour BALBOA PARK — The San Diego Horticultural Society and San Diego Floral Association have teamed up for this year’s Garden Tour, which commemorates the centennial of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. The tour will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 11. The tour will showcase some of the best private home gardens in neighborhoods near Balboa Park. For more information, visit sdhort.org. Little green thumbs VISTA — Kids in the Garden classes are offered the second Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. in the Children’s

Garden at Alta Vista Gardens. The classes are for kindergarten through sixth-graders and cost $5. Upcoming class topics include Drawing and Water Colors, Recycled Art — Trash for Treasure and Using and Saving Water. For more information about Kids in the Garden, email farmerjones@altavisagardens.org or visit altavistagardens.org. Free landscape workshop REGION — The Vista Irrigation District is offering a free Homeowner Landscape Workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 2. The workshop will cover site analysis, soil preparation, plant selection and placement, irrigation and utilizing rainwater as a resource. Space is limited, so registration is required. Call (760) 597-3107 or email breyes@vid-h2o.org to register. Please provide your name, address and daytime telephone number when enrolling for the workshop.

The paint + sip studio that connects individuals with their ‘you-nique’ creative abilities in a fun workshop environment. To sign up for classes and see our studio hours, please visit:

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Directions: From the 5 Freeway exit La Costa Ave. heading east past El Camino Real. Turn left on Rancho Santa Fe, then right on San Elijo Road. The builders reserve the right to change prices, plans, features or amenities without prior notice or obligation. All residents automatically become members of the San Elijo Hills Master Association. Square footages are approximate.

March 2015