Spring home garden guide 2014

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March 21, 2014


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spring 2014


home garden • Home Additions • Interior Decorating • Landscaping • Hauling • Flooring • Tile & Stone • Furnishings • Bed & Bath • Garden Centers • Solar Energy • Outdoor Fountains • Heating/Air Conditioning • Real Estate • Home Automation

A special supplement to

The CoasT News Group

MarCh 21, 2014


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March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014

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An Africanized honeybee, left, and a European honeybee on honeycomb. Despite color differences between these two bees, normally they can’t be identified by eye.
 Photo courtesy of Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Re-

search Service

‘Bee’-ing careful North County beekeeper working to make feral beehives more docile By Tony Cagala

REGION — Quentin Alexander is a registered beekeeper. For four years now he’s been helping to remove aggressive beehives from around the county and, as of two years ago, he started his own company Hive Savers. If that wasn’t an interesting enough profession, Alexander, who’s also a certified firefighter/EMS, is working to make the aggressive hives he removes safer. Without the use of any chemicals, Alexander captures the beehives, whether they’re outside or in people’s attics, and then takes them to what he calls “bee clinics” around the county. At one of the bee clinics in Rancho San Diego he puts the hives through a process described as “re-queening.” That’s a process of removing the aggressive queen bee from the hive and replacing it with a more docile Italian queen bee, which he imports from Hawaii. It’s a breeding process that takes anywhere from six to eight weeks, where the aggressive Africanized bee traits are replaced with a new generation of bees that are calmer and less aggressive. Alexander said he’s always had an interest in bees, but it wasn’t until he helped a neighbor to rescue a hive from a utility water box in one of the local water district areas, that his interests really peaked. “I just really loved it,” he said. During his most recent removal of a hive in the Olivenhain Colony, Alexander encountered some Africanized bees. “It can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Alexander said. “Handling Africanized bees takes a lot of precaution.” “You can mainly judge by the behavior, but that’s not always a sure thing either,” Alexander said. “Africanized hives can appear to be very calm…but if it got hit down with a beam…and it’s an Africanized hive, then you’re going

Quentin Alexander is a registered beekeeper. With his humane bee removal service, Alexander has also been working to make aggresive beehives more docile. Courtesy photo

to have a scene on your hands.” Whenever you have bees in your structure, he said, you should always have them removed. Alexander said it’s hard to tell, without verification from a laboratory, what specimen of bee is in somebody’s yard. Dr. James Nieh at UCSD’s Nieh Lab is researching bees, looking at the evolution of communication in social bees and other factors that affect honeybee health. Nieh said that taking a feral swarm of bees and re-queening them is a fairly standard practice, not necessarily for making an Africanized hive more docile, he added, but when the queen has undesirable traits. “It is a tricky procedure,” he said. “Very often these colonies will reject the European queens and so it requires a lot of persistence to actually get it to work.” In some of the cases, Nieh explained, the colony ends up killing the introduced queen. It could take a few attempts, which can end up costing a lot of money. About 70 percent of the bees seen in the county are Africanized, said Nieh.



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March 21, 2014

Going green with Jus Turf synthetic grass How’s your yard looking these days? Are you starting to notice that this year’s drought and the requests to conserve water have been slowly turning anything once vibrantly green to a frazzled brown? Though you can’t control Mother Nature, you can control what happens in your yard. And if you’re looking to have that green grass look all year round without the chores of having to maintain it, you may want to consider going synthetic. All that you need to

start with is a basic measurement of the area where you want to have the synthetic grass installed and the directions to Jus Turf. While there, you’ll be able to browse the largest selections of synthetic grass available, all of which are made in the United States. By being an outlet that showcases more than 400,000 square feet of synthetic grass, Jus Turf, the family-run business, has been able to keep costs at their lowest for clients. For less than $6 a square foot installed, Jus

Turf provides top of the line turf, including the removal of your old lawn. And there are plenty of other varieties of turf they have, starting at just $3.75 a square foot installed. Anyone looking to bring a dramatic change to their property, that isn’t only aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly, but kid and pet friendly, can do so without harming their budget. Keeping costs low for the consumers has been the company’s crowning achievement over its 11 years in the synthetic turf

business. In fact, 65 percent of Jus Turf’s business comes from DIY’ers. So, the question is: What are you’re doing this weekend? Check out the full line of synthetic grasses available at their Mira Mesa location at 9550 Camino Ruiz or their brand new location at 3137 Beyer Blvd. #C in San Diego. They can be reached at (619) 428-8873. Call Jus Turf at (858) 578-2517 to get your project started or go online to justurf.com.

Adding synthetic turf can bring a dramatic change to your property. Jus Turf houses more than 400,000 square feet of synthetic turf to view and is able to keep costs to the minimum for consumers.

5 things you ought to know about spring allergies



Oceanside Solar Luncheon

WHEN: Saturday, March 22nd | 11am-12pm WHERE: Oceanside Public Library 330 N. Coast Hwy. Oceanside, CA 92054

(BPT) — April’s showers bring May flowers but they also bring on sneezing, runny noses and watery eyes for some of the 50 million Americans with allergies. The spring allergy season begins in some regions of the country as early as February and can last into the summer months. The most common spring allergy culprits are pollens from a variety of trees and grasses, as well as mold, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “Because there can be millions of pollen particles and mold spores in the air, finding allergy relief can seem nearly impossible for some,” says allergist Dr. Michael Foggs, ACAAI president. “But by knowing what triggers your allergy symptoms and how to avoid these allergens, you can be on your way to a sneeze-free season.” Knowing more about the spring allergy season can also help you fight symptoms. ACAAI allergists have put together the five things you should know about spring allergies. • Allergies are on the rise — Every year more adults and children are diagnosed with allergies. There are several speculations about this increase, including climate changes and increased allergy awareness. Studies have also shown pollen counts are gradually increasing. Even if you’ve never had allergies in the past, you can develop them at any time. That lingering cold may be allergies and you should see your local board-certified allergist for testing and treatment. • It matters when you medicate — If you fall victim to spring allergies annually, you should begin taking your medication two weeks before symptoms typically begin. Keep an eye on the pollen counts in your area. Even if the temperature doesn’t feel like spring, there could already be pollen circulating in the air. To be better prepared,

you can track your symptoms with MyNasalAllergyJournal.org. • There isn’t a cure, but there is something close — Unfortunately, there is no cure for spring allergies. However, immunotherapy (allergy shots) provides symptom relief while modifying and preventing disease progression. Immunotherapy can also be tailored for an individual’s needs. So if you’re allergic to pollens, dust and pets, allergy shots can provide you with relief from these allergens. • Symptoms can be severe — Runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing aren’t the only symptoms of spring allergies. If you are coughing, wheezing and have trouble breathing, asthma might be one of your allergy symptoms. In fact, an estimated 75-85 percent of asthma sufferers have at least one allergy. Asthma attacks can be life-threatening. Aside from avoiding allergens, you should also be under the regular care of an allergist and use medications as prescribed. • When in doubt, get checked out — Not every cough is due to a respiratory infection. And colds shouldn’t be blamed for every runny nose. If you find yourself battling unwanted symptoms for more than two weeks, it is likely time to see an allergist to get tested, diagnosed and treated. Allergies and asthma are serious diseases and that’s “nothing to sneeze at.” Misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment can be dangerous.

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To avoid encounters with rattlesnakes, the Department of Animal Services suggests these steps: stur• Wear dy hiking boots with ankle support so that your feet are protected. • Stay on paths and trails. Avoid tall grass, weeds and brush where snakes may hide. • Keep your dog on leash while hiking and be aware of what your dog is doing at all times.

The county’s Department of Animal Services is receiving triple the amount of calls this year for rattlesnake removals than they did during the same time last year. Photo courtesy of the

County of San Diego

County sees rattlesnake calls triple over last year By Tony Cagala

REGION — Calls into the county’s DAS (Department of Animal Services), for rattlesnake removals have more than tripled this year when compared to the same time frame from last year. As of March 14, DAS had received 82 calls, explained DAS Deputy Director Dan DeSousa. The majority of the calls have been coming from the more inland areas of North County, he added. Eleven of the calls came from the 92129 zip code, the Rancho Penasquitos area. There were three calls that

came from the 92009 area of Carlsbad, DeSousa said. Despite the numbers, DeSousa said rattlesnakes can be found all the way to the water’s edge. “It’s just that area’s been developed a lot more than some of these other areas,” DeSousa said. According to DAS Director Dawn Danielson, though spring is typically the time of year rattlesnakes emerge from hibernation, the snakes are being drawn out a little earlier this year because of the mild winter and the several heat spells experienced in the county.

During the late afternoon is when most of the snakes will come out to do hunting, just before it gets dark, DeSousa explained. “They’ve probably been in the shade during the hot part of the day. Early morning is when they’re going to come out and sun themselves,” he added. Animal Services is recommending homeowners to clear away old wood piles and garbage heaps, to avoid any hiding opportunities for the rattlesnakes. DAS provides services to Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee and Solana Beach

and unincorporated areas. If you see a rattlesnake, they ask that you keep an eye on it from a safe distance and call (619) 236-2341. When DAS arrives and captures the snake, they try not to take it farther than a mile away from where they were found, explained DeSousa. The reason for that, he added, was because if they were taken more than a mile from their home range, you’re basically condemning them to death. The snakes wouldn’t know where the food sources or den sources are.

• Make sure you can see where you are reaching and that you can see ahead of you. Look for concealed snakes before picking up rocks, sticks or wood. • C o n s i d e r bringing a walking stick while hiking. If you encounter a snake it may strike the stick instead of you or your pet. • Give rattlesnakes the right-ofway. If you live in an area where rattlesnakes have been found, check your yard before letting your pets and children out to play.


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March 21, 2014

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March 21, 2014

Tour showcases private gardens ENCINITAS — Celebrating its ninth year, the Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour is featuring a self guided walking tour of more than 20 private gardens in a quaint and eclectic neighborhood of Encinitas. The garden tour along with a free Gardener’s Marketplace will be open to the public April 26 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This year’s walkable tour neighborhood showcases a mix of new and old gardens, each with styles and characteristics that are relatable to all levels of garden enthusiasts. Tour goers will explore mini orchards that include apple, avocado, citrus, stone fruit and pomegranate, in addition to examples of back yard chickens, creative uses of low water succulents, a stunning Zen retreat with outdoor fireplace, and a family pool transformed into a terraced, blooming oasis. The free Gardener’s Marketplace serves as the central hub of the festival. Marketplace vendors will offer unusual plants, vegetable seedlings, garden art, food, beverages and more. Exhibitors and guest speakers will provide information about gardening in San Diego, covering topics such as waterwise gardening, composting, fruit trees, and backyard chickens. All participants park off-site (at no charge). Double-decker buses shuttle tour goers between the parking lot and the Gardener’s Marketplace. From the marketplace, attendees set out on foot into the surrounding neighborhood for the self-guided walking tour. Garden tour tickets are now available for purchase on the Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour website and at local nurseries (see website for complete list). Advance tickets and reservations are $23 for adults ($30 on-site) and $7 for children ($10 on-site). Advance reservations are recommended as the event is expected to sell out. As a nonprofit organization, the Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour 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. A special thank you to the event’s Bloom Level sponsor the Leichtag Foundation (leichtag.org). For complete event information visit encinitasgardenfestival.org or call (760) 753-8615.


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Sorrento Prestige Collection in Sorrento Mesa now selling REGION — A brand new collection of luxury, two-story homes has opened for sale above Sorrento Valley. The Sorrento Prestige Collection by Pardee Homes is a hillside enclave of just 20 energy-efficient homes located minutes from the coast and the dynamic business, research, technological and educational opportunities of Sorrento Valley, Mira Mesa, Torrey Pines and La Jolla. This intimate collection of spacious and stylish homes enjoys tranquil canyon views, spacious floor plans and a wealth of thoughtful appointments. The comfortable homes of Sorrento Prestige Collection create a picturesque neighborhood setting, richly flavored by indigenous architectural styles such as Spanish, Traditional, California Coastal Cottage and Napa Valley. Three, two-story floor plans are available, offering four to five bedrooms with a versatile guest bedroom/bath suite on the main floor. All homes have three baths and three-bay garages with square footage ranging from approximately 2,824 to 3,429 square feet. Pricing is from the low $900,000s. “This exciting collection offers the luxury of space, which means big rooms, high ceilings and open areas perfect for entertaining,” said Matt Sauls, regional director of marketing for Pardee Homes. “There’s also plenty of storage space for all your things, and space outside with a hillside setting ad-

The Sorrento Prestige Collection in Sorrento Mesa is now selling.

jacent to nearby canyons. “These homes represent the last, best new home community in the immediate area and are sure to meet the needs of buyers seeking luxury, energy-efficiency and a convenient, coastal location.” From the ultra gourmet kitchens to the expansive master bedroom suites, these homes are filled with impressive amenities and optional choices such as a fifth bedroom, loft, or master bath spa tub. Kitchens are a chef’s delight with convenient food preparation islands, granite slab countertops, cabinet recycling center, deep pot/pan drawers underneath the cooktop, convenient under-cabinet task lighting, a spacious food pantry and a GE Pro-

file™ appliance package including a built-in 30” oven, five-burner cooktop, microwave oven and GE Quiet Power™ dishwasher. A spacious master bedroom suite offers a quiet retreat with a luxurious bathroom, private dressing area and walk-in closets. These remarkable homes include designer-selected interior light fixtures, elegant architectural details such as soffits and custom-crafted stair-

cases and a cozy fireplace with mantle. Wired for today, Sorrento Prestige Collection homes include fully integrated multimedia wiring with high-speed Category 5 wire and coaxial cable configured for video, telephone, data and networking capabilities. Like all new home neighborhoods built by Pardee, Sorrento Prestige Collection includes the LivingSmart® program of energy-efficient features

and options designed to offer added value. These features provide homeowners with lower energy and water bills and greater indoor comfort. LivingSmart, With energy efficiency exceeds California’s Title 24 criteria. appliWater-thrifty ances, plumbing and the use of low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials are among the LivingSmart standards. Buyers can also add such options as photovoltaic systems for in-home solar power, whole house water filtration, and tankless water heaters. For more information or to view the virtual home tour, visit the neighboring Sorrento Heights sales office at 6780 Lopez Canyon Way. From I-805, exit at Mira Mesa Blvd. and go east to Camino Santa Fe. Turn left and then turn right on Calle Cristobal. You can also call (858) 433-7804 or (858) 342-8797 or go to pardeehomes.com. Established in 1921, Pardee Homes is one of the largest building companies in California and noted for energy-efficient building practices, quality construction, customer satisfaction and dedication to the educational and civic goals of the communities in which it builds.


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March 21, 2014

Prefab Granite Depot offers more selection for your budget At Prefab Granite Depot, it doesn’t matter what your ZIP code is or the size of your budget. They offer the same pricing and selection to every client, and their goal is to make sure clients see all options to get a fair price for every kitchen or bath remodeling project. Other outlets that provide custom solid wood cabinets and granite or marble countertops often take advantage of homes in highend neighborhoods- most won’t even give you a price without coming out to the job site. Once they discover they are dealing with an individual who lives in the best part of town, these dealers are prone to raise their prices in an effort to get as much money from the job as possible. But at Prefab Granite Depot, all they need are the rough dimensions of the area to be remodeled and they will give clients an estimate without even asking where they live. Project size is not important- clients will get the same level of expertise and attention whether you are looking for a new bathroom vanity top or re-

modeling your entire kitchen. Prefab Granite Depot’s multiple locations make it especially easy for North County shoppers, with showrooms in both Oceanside, at 3910 Vista Way, # 117 and at 8400 Miramar Road, San Diego. The showroom hours are Mondays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact them at (760) 806-1188 or (858) 831-9363. Once you walk through the showroom doors, sales staff and design consultants are at hand to provide you with a great selection of everything from solid wood cabinetry in a variety of styles and finishes, granite and marble countertops, to specialty tile installations for those clients wanting something truly unique. At both showrooms, full-size kitchen mock-ups will spark your creativity and showcase a host of options for all budgets. The staff can walk you through the entire process of a remodeling project, and the in-house designers can create a 3D-design layout

At Prefab Granite Depot it doesn’t matter what your ZIP code or your budget is. They offer the same pricing and selection to every client.

that gives you a clear understanding of what you want and how your choices will blend with your home. Former clients praise Prefab Granite Depot installers for caring more about the quality of their work then racing on to the next job. Satisfied clients describe the depot craftsmen with words like “thorough” and “meticulous.” The crews earn kudos for installing cabinets “as if it were their own kitchen,” and for prompt installation and spotless clean-up. Prefab Granite Depot designers also get regular raves for the accuracy of the

estimation process. Prefab Granite Depot is one of the largest granite and cabinet businesses in San Diego County. It imports granite and cabinets from countries all around the world, such as Brazil, Canada, India, Italy, and more. At the showroom, you may have a little trouble making a final choice from among the selection of more than 50 exotic granite colors and many styles of solid wood cabinets- not cheap particle board. With such a broad selection, clients can find whatever they want for new

kitchens and bathrooms, with additional options for fireplaces and outdoor barbecues for those looking for outdoor entertaining options suitable for the Southern California lifestyle. With all these choices at your fingertips, it is clear that Prefab Granite Depot is the perfect place to create that personalized statement for your home or business. In addition, Prefab Granite Depot clients can count on a fast turnaround time and top quality materials; and working with Prefab Granite Depot’s helpful staff can take a great deal of the hassle and stress out of

creating your dream living or working environment. At their website, prefabgranitedepot.com, you can get to know the company and review useful preparation information for your remodeling projects such as “Helpful Tips to Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets,” “Execute the Best Solutions for Bathroom Remodeling” or “Change your Lifestyle by Kitchen Renovation.” Visit them in person at either of the Oceanside or Miramar locations, or online at prefabgranitedepot.com, and learn how rewarding a new living space can be.

Milholland Electric celebrates 25 years In 2014 Milholland Electric is entering its 25th year as on one of San Diego’s most trusted

electrical and solar con- ifornia become a green tractors and the company state. could not be more proud The company has extremendous of its role in helping Cal- perienced growth over the last few years and the solar division is booming. Even with reductions in rebates and tax credits, the solar industry still provides an outstanding return on the customer’s solar investment dollars. Drops in production costs, improved manufacturing, an experienced work force and an increase in utility rates have played a tremendous role in keeping solar as the clear choice for saving money. Other than competitive pricing and a knowledgeable, friendly staff, what makes Milholland the clear choice for your solar needs is that we are investing in a long term commitment to solar in California by training our staff to handle the solar service needs of the future. We want to be your partner for the life of your system. We want to assure our customers that not only have we been here for California for 25 years, but that we are committed to being here for the next 25 years maintaining our customer’s valuable investment in Solar.

• When a solar system stops working or is under producing, Milholland Electric is the company to call. We are one of the few solar contractors in San Diego staffed, with professionals who will service your system, even if we didn’t install it. If your products are still under warranty we will contact the manufacturer and deal with them directly to get your solar system back on line and producing clean electricity to power your life. • Milholland Electric provides solar system inspection reports for real estate transactions. • Milholland Electric’s electrical service team is qualified to handle all commercial and residential service and repair. • Milholland Electric specializes in the installation and service of electrical vehicle chargers in both home of work settings. • 2012 BBB Torch Award For Ethics Finalist Milholland Electric is focused on and committed to helping you conserve energy, save money and live a more productive, less polluting life style. Power your life with the sun and preserve the planet for future generations.

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Could it really be possible for kids to like whole grains? (BPT) — We know. Whole grains are good for us, offering fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. But can they really be tasty enough for our kids to enjoy? And how do we add them to more of our meals? The answers may be as close as your nearest elementary, middle or high school. Schools across the country are introducing whole grain breads, pastas, rice, pizzas and tortillas. Starting July 1, 2014, all of the grain-based offerings in the lunch line will be at least 51 percent whole grain. Anthony Geraci, director of Nutrition Services at Shelby County Schools near Memphis, Tenn., oversees one of the country’s largest school districts, serving more than 155,000 students in 270 schools. In 2012, he proactively anticipated the USDA’s new school meal requirements and changed all of the district’s grain offerings to whole grains. Now, breads and muffins are baked fresh from scratch. Simultaneously, Geraci established a mandate of customer service, focusing full attention on serving the district’s daily student customers. One of the most successful ways Geraci and his team have introduced new, healthy items is the “no thank you bites.” “Trying something new can be a bit unsettling to kids,” says

tomatoes. To add whole grains to your home menus, Moores suggests teamwork. “Kids are naturally curious about food, they’re interested in being in the kitchen and in learning how to cook. Leverage that and the fun when everyone is trying a food for the first time.” To amp up the flavor of grains, cook them in broth or juice, and make a pilaf with chopped onions, adding chopped vegetables, corn or even dried fruit. Finish with season-

Geraci. “We decided to ask our youngest customers to choose whether or not to try a new, healthy item by offering it to them in a small sample cup. If they choose not to try it, they simply say ‘no thank you,’ and move on. But if they do try the item, they receive a star sticker and are invited to a monthly ‘constellation party for the stars.’ We’ve

Try this whole grain recipe from The Culinary Institute of America Brown Rice Pilaf recipe from The Culinary Institute of America Yield: 10 portions Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups long-grain converted brown rice 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 small onion, minced 3 cups liquid - vegetable stock, chicken stock or water 1 bay leaf 1 thyme sprig Salt, to taste Ground pepper, to taste Directions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat the oil in heavygauge medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, 5-6 minutes. Add the rice and saute over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until aromatic and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaf and thyme sprig to the rice and bring to a simmer, stirring to prevent the rice from clumping together or sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot and cook in a 350 F. oven until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid, about 30 minutes. Remove the rice from the oven, and allow it to rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, and use a fork to fluff the rice, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig, and set aside in a warm spot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on a warm plate.

found this to be a fun way to test new items as well as get feedback on our new offerings.” Schools are offering kid-friendly favorites like pizza and stir fry with brown rice that fit into their whole grain-rich menus. For example, the new Big Daddy’s(R) Primo Four Cheese Pizza has a 51 percent whole grain crust and a slice is only 360 calories. It’s a great solution for familiar taste and nutrient-rich offerings. You can easily carry whole grain “goodness” into your own kitchen too. Consider whole grains your blank canvas, says Susan Moores, a Twin Cities-based dietitian. “They’re a great starting

point for creating delicious meals that are incredibly beneficial to your and your kids’ health.” According to Moores, whole grains are the type of carbohydrates your body wants. “Whole-grain carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy for the brain,” she says. That’s important for kids at school. Plus, studies show whole grains contain their own, unique set of phytonutrients, which can rival the phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrients are substances found in plant foods that research strongly suggest promote good health … think resveratrol in grapes and lycopene in

ing. Whole grains work as a side dish, in a casserole, in soups or as part of a refreshing spring salad. It might take time to make the change, but stay the course. “The rule of thumb: it can take 10 to 12 introductions to a new food before a child chooses to give it a go,” Moores says. “Whole grains taste best with the company they keep. Partner them with favorite foods and ingredients to make them a sure win on two fronts: taste and health.”


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Nature Designs Landscaping — Providing a higher level of service Nature Designs provides residential landscape management services for environmentally responsible San Diego homeowners interested in adding high-quality amenities and natural beauty to their property. Nature Designs has been improving San Diego County landscapes for more than 30 years by providing responsible design practices, quality construction, design-centered garden maintenance and estate services. “We probably have a higher percentage of licensed, educated, and certified employees than any other landscape contractor in the county,” said owner, Steve Jacobs. “We attract homeowners who have high expectations for quality and professional landscape management; typically, not a first-time buyer.” Many homeowners know from experience that improving their property can be a complex process of coordinating design details, submitting to their homeowner association, obtaining building permits, and adhering to budgets. This process requires skilled management and communication at each stage

Nature Designs Landscaping has been improving San Diego County landscapes for more than 30 years.

of development. Nature Designs handles them seamlessly. When working with Nature Designs and their one point-of-contact business format, homeowners work directly with a team leader to coordinate details.

This format produces a cohesive process of design development, permits, inspections, and financial management to insure each client’s aesthetic and financial expectations are met. Landscape management is also important to ensure that each plant is properly cared for and will thrive during that vulnerable time after the initial installation. Many plants need extra attention, and homeowners often misunderstand the amount of care and water that are needed. Once established, skilled and regular maintenance of the plants and all landscape systems is important so that the original design intent is preserved, pests and diseases are responsibly monitored and treated, and drainage and irrigation systems are functioning at their optimum potential. “We provide design, construction, and maintenance services for a reason,” says Kelly Fore Dixon, Designer and Project Manager at Nature Designs. “Each stage is so important to the overall success of the landscape. Aside from the purchase of their home, our clients consider their landscape

improvements the second largest investment while improving the overall livability and value of their home. We take that very seriously.” “Owner Steve Jacobs was raised in a family of educators and conservationists, so he naturally understands what it means to use natural resources responsibly,” Dixon said. “That sentiment is also fostered within this company’s culture. We selectively hire team members who have this sensitivity. We are conscious of improving the home’s value and habitat and are acutely aware of impacting the surrounding environment. We think on a deeper level about the impact we are making. It’s more than just pretty plants to us.” Nature Designs isn’t just good at what they do — they are good for what they do, priding themselves in environmentally responsible landscape solutions. To learn more about their services, go to the Nature Designs website at NatureDesigns.net to understand how they can enrich your landscape aesthetically and environmentally, and then call them to discuss your project at (760) 945-4321 or email them at mail@NatureDesigns.net.

Stone countertops: Still a steadily increasing component of remodeling Stone countertops are a key element in both minor and major kitchen and bathroom remodels. More than 80 percent of homeowners throughout the country include them in their projects. This holds true in San Diego County, where thousands of homes continue to be built annually and older homes require updating. Due to the inherent beauty, durability, and practicality, industry professionals agree that the de-

mand for stone surfaces will steadily increase in future years. That’s why Randy Jacobs, owner of Amazonia Kitchen & Bath, started the Solana Beach-based fabrication and installation company nearly 15 years ago. “I noticed that the demand for stone countertops was increasing,” he said, “but there were few people who actually fabricated and installed the material. I saw a need and I filled it.” Jacobs was amongst the first to fab-

ricate granite for countertops in San Diego County. Stone countertops are brought to the homeowner through two separate components that are rarely offered by the same company: Retailers feature pieces in slab yards and sell the material and fabricator must then transport the slabs, create custom templates of spaces, cut the stone, polish it, add edge details, and install it. This is where Amazonia comes in. Jacobs, a San Diego

native and graduate of San Diego State University, combines a strong business sense with a love of natural stone. He’s not surprised by the growth of the industry over the last 15 years, but also cautions that not all fabricators are the same: “There are a lot of companies out there that are cutting and installing stone but not very many companies that understand how to do it in a way that really features the natural beauty of the product while still of-

fering a competitive price and being efficient with the customer’s time.” Amazonia is one of only a small percentage of fabricators that is certified to sell, fabricate, and install Silestone® and Caesarstone® surfaces. The company guarantees a 7-day turnaround from template to installation, offers a lifetime warranty, and keeps the business small enough that Jacobs can remain aware of what’s going on at every jobsite. Amazonia Kitchen &

Bath works with granite, quartzite, marble, travertine, limestone, and quartz Caesarstone, (Silestone, and other brands) and also specializes in tile floors, tile backsplashes, and stone and/or tile tub and shower surrounds. The company employs an ASID designer for customers who need assistance with selections and offers free in-home estimates. Visit amazonia.biz or call (760) 533-6656 for more information.

March 21, 2014


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Your spot for tropical bamboo decor Launched in 2004, Bamboo Source Tropical Décor is not just another bamboo store. Co-Founders Jim Passarelli and Cynthia Mielke were inspired by their passion for surfing and living the Aloha lifestyle. They discovered that by combining expressive, culturally rich elements with their tropical interior design they could create a sense of timelessness, harmony and balance that is truly paradise. Unable to find these unique tropical items easily, they decided to import directly and make a variety of culturally inspired products available to people who share their enthusiasm. Now, as a respected provider of high-quality handcrafted products, their goal is to connect the world’s gifted artisans with consumers that appreciate and value the beauty of their work. Bamboo Source Tropical Decor has established itself as a premier home furnishings retailer of quality handcrafted cultural arts, home decor and gifts gathered from around the world. We offer a wide variety of distinctive products — from furniture, lamps, baskets, pottery and gifts to construction materials for self projects. Bamboo Source offers

Bamboo Source Tropoical Decor is located at 2028 S. Coast Highway 101 in Oceanside.

a complete array of tropical furnishings and décor accents for every room of your home, indoor and out. Each item in our collection is carefully selected to reflect the fine craftsmanship, heritage and artistic integrity of the native cultures in which they were made.

Bamboo Source is one stop shopping for all of your tropical home décor and gift needs. Bamboo Source is located at 2028 S. Coast Hwy. 101 in Oceanside, just south of Vista Way. Call (760) 722-1774. Store hours are Monday and Wednesday

through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bamboo Source is closed Tuesdays until June 1. We invite you to explore, shop, and create your own paradise with our unique tropical treasures designed to enhance and enrich your life.

Anderson’s La Costa is anything but ordinary Anderson’s La Costa isn’t your ordinary nursery visit — it’s a truly unique garden center experience. This local family owned business has been operating at the same location two blocks west of Interstate 5 on La Costa Avenue for over 50 years. Owners Dave and Una Tyler invite you to come in and browse the huge selection including annuals, perennials, fruits and and so much more. A full line of pottery, garden accessories, tools, dry goods and organic fertilizer and soil amendments are also available. What sets Anderson’s apart is the varied selection, plant quality and especially the knowledgeable and friendly staff of trained nursery professionals. Highlights of visiting Anderson’s must include a visit to their 2,500 square foot greenhouse with its vast selection. Be sure to allow some time to visit the expanded “edibles” area where you can select the herbs and veggies from local growers to create your own organic additions for the dinner table. Also expanded this year is the fruit tree section where you will find citrus, figs, apples, peaches and so, so much more. Many of the offerings at Anderson’s are from North County growers — a

theme that the folks at Anderson’s stress when stocking the nursery. And don’t miss out on the lovely Secret Gardena, reminiscent of a darling fairy garden with its enticing playhouse that captivates the youngsters’ imaginations. Should you find more than fits into your car, no problem — they deliver! Enjoy the mood created by one of the largest selections of operating fountains in the area and stroll leisurely while enjoying the great selection within the perfect settings so you can immediately envision what you could do in your own garden or patio. Roses are a feature as you enter the nursery at this time of year and Anderson’s doesn’t disappoint, offering a wide selection of the favorites and always introducing the latest varieties. Anderson’s staff are more than happy to special order and always do their best to track down that elusive beauty you seek. If you are looking for a garden center with a casual yet beautiful atmosphere and a staff of friendly, knowledgeable nursery professionals, check out Anderson’s La Costa. The staff provides excellent instore customer service and satisfaction, and can also provide expert on-site garden design services at your home or business.

ninth annual

Family Owned and Operated

Encinitas Garden Festival & Tour Saturday, April 26, 2014 • 10am– 4:30pm

Visit the walkable streets of a wonderful neighborhood featuring new and old gardens. The festival features a free Gardener’s Marketplace with vendors, exhibitors, and guest speakers. Gain inspiration for your garden, spark an appreciation for community gardening, and get a glimpse of the horticultural heritage of Encinitas. Don’t delay! tickets are limited and usually sell out. Adults (ages 11 and up) $23 advance purchase $30 day of the festival Kids (up to age 10) $7 advance purchase $10 day of the festival

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 A portion of the proceeds support community projects through the Encinitas Garden Festival Fund at the Coastal Community Foundation. The Encinitas Garden Festival & Tour is a 501( c) (3) charitable organization.


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March 21, 2014

Green is still the new black: Spring trends in Eco Design Reclaimed, renewable, recycled… words that have become such a common part of our vernacular even young children know which can to toss their plastic bottles in. The latest trend in green design is upcycling. Have you heard about it? Like recycling, the goal of upcycling is to create products out of used unwanted materials that were otherwise destined for the landfill. But with upcycling the idea is to come up with something better than the original. Exciting modern design ideas are popping up everywhere. Corrugated cardboard? Fabulous light fixtures! Old pallets?

Unreal rocking bed! Old fencing? New dining table! This month as we look forward to Spring and Summer and outdoor entertaining think about what you can upcycle at home. Are you re-doing your fence? Turn that old battered wood in to a gorgeous reclaimed wall in your house. Or put the old wood up on Craigslist for some budding furniture maker to create with. Spruce up an outdoor wall with a gorgeous upcycled flower vase plaque! Who knew baby bottles could be so lovely? Turn old ketchup bottles in to bird feeders; old silverwear and cups in to a windchime; an old washing

machine in to a stylish fire pit for your backyard. For tons of creative ideas on what to upcycle from common items around your home, try upcyclethat. com/ or pinterest.com/ m i nd fu lproduct /upc ycling-ideas/ One of our favorite designers has taken upcyling to a whole new dreamy (and very modern) level. Taking old pallets and turning them in to furniture that rocks! Literally. This definitely isn’t your grandma’s rocking chair. Corrugated cardboard never looked so bright. And the bed. Well, rocking yourself to sleep never sounded so good.

Buyers at local artist gallery Bliss 101 in have spent the Winter procuring a whole new line of upcycled products like you’ve never seen before. The dreamy rocking bed and chairs have just arrived, go try them out! Their consultants are offering a free in-home de-

sign consultation through the month of April. For some inspirational ideas for your home and garden, stop on by and mention this Coast News article for a free consult. Bliss 101 is located in Pacific Station at 687 S. Coast Hwy 101, next to Whole Foods. Visit bliss101.com for more.

March 21, 2014


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Bishop’s Tree Service branches passion with performance Brian Bishop’s passion for trees shows through clearer than any ray of sunlight breaking in between the leaves of the tallest of canopies. To him, trees are assets that improve our lives in so many different ways. In the more than 30 years that he’s lived in North County and operated Bishop’s Tree Service, his knowledge of the many varieties of trees and the services he provides has continued to grow. Knowing the physiology of the tree — whether it’s defected or diseased — even knowing what the purpose of that tree is, goes a long way in deciding what kind of service is needed. Sometimes, though, the trees don’t serve any purpose except that they’ve grown too large and have become liabilities. In those cases, he doesn’t shy away from telling the resident that it needs to come down. Even though the trees may come out on the losing end at times, Bishop still values the opportunity to improve the relationships between people, properties and trees. Sharing his amassed experience with the resident goes beyond what most other tree service providers will do. That also accounts for the high retention rates of his clientele, who know that he and his

well-trained crews are doing only what’s right and necessary for the overall health of the tree and their property. “I’m in the business because that’s what I love to do,” Bishop said. “I love working with trees, I like working people and I like solving problems.” Sixty percent of Bishop’s Tree Service comes from residential clients with a high referral rate, while the remaining 40 percent comes from commercial businesses. From tree trimming to shaping to large, technical tree removals, the staff of Bishop’s Tree Service, which also includes three certified arborists, ensures that whatever work is being done, will be done correctly. “A bad prune can kill the tree, or significantly shorten its life,” Bishop said. “With proper pruning, you can extend the pruning cycle so that you don’t have to be there as often,” he added. And with Bishop being a certified tree safety professional, the crews take all necessary precautions when beginning any job. Bishop’s Tree Service is also environmentally friendly, with 95 percent of tree waste being recycled for use as ground cover or mulch. To schedule a tree assessment call Bishop’s Tree Service at (760) 720-9649 or visit them online at bishopstreecare.net.

PREPPING FOR EARTH DAY In anticipation of Earth Day April 22, The Grand Del Mar, 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego, will host a series of events to restore trails at the adjacent Carmel Valley Preserve from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sundays April 6, April 13 and April 27. Participants will join resort naturalist Dylan Jones on a two-mile hike into the preserve. Upon arrival at the mesa, guests will be provided tools and supplies to trim the native plants and shrubs. Participants will learn about the region’s delicate ecosystem with its wildlife and indigenous plant species. For reservations, call (858) 314-1996. Courtesy photo

“Pre-Season” Outdoor Furniture SALE!

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A Unique Collectionof Fine Home Furnishings & Accessories


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March 21, 2014

Put yourself in the heart of it all. 18 Miles of Trails • 1100 Acres of Open Space 19-Acre Community Park • Regional Park Award-Winning Schools • Charming Towncenter

Established 2000. All grown up. FINAL SALES RELEASES AT BELMONT & ALTAIRE!

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4-5 Bedrooms 4.5 - 6.5 Baths 4,638-6,007 Sq. Ft. From the low $1 Millions T: 760.736.3100 BRE# 01272295

San Elijo Hills Visitor Center Open Daily 10 AM - 5 PM 1277 San Elijo Road, San Marcos, CA 92078 / 760.798.1765


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 21, 2014

Six hot home design trends for this spring (BPT) — Does the change of seasons have you itching to refresh a tired, lackluster room? Or maybe you’re looking for some small ways to make a big impact on your home’s style? Whatever the case, here are some of this season’s most buzzed-about trends and how you can incorporate them into your next project. • Wood is the new neutral. This season’s strong trend toward wood textures pairs the warmth, richness and texture of real wood with limitless design flexibility. Think wood-textured textiles, tree-printed wallpapers and embossed soaps that look like wood. Installing engineered wood ceilings and wainscoting can bring the unique look of reclaimed wood into any environment - an easy do-ityourself project with striking results. • Ode to the elements. Mother Nature is inspiring design in a big way this year and homeowners are finding unique ways to incorporate rocks, minerals and other natural elements into their home’s design. Try replacing a common-place item like an alarm clock with one encased within a multi-colored agate. Bring this look to the kitchen with a stainless steel backsplash, or swap out runof-the-mill hardware with mineral-inspired drawer pulls and knobs.• Shore thing. Homeowners, inspired by the calm, care-free attitude of coastal living are all about bringing the beach inside this season. Beach-inspired design elements are popping up throughout the home. Weathered and whitewashed wood ceilings are a subtle but stunning ontrend addition - especially when finished with interior accents like decorative shells, drift wood furniture and marine-themed prints. • Contrast in texture. Step aside Pantone, texture is spring’s hottest new color. Homeowners are putting down their paintbrushes and adding interest with texture through high-gloss finishes, metallics, sequins and mirrors. A textured tile wall brings visual and tactile interest, especially when paired with contrasting high-gloss lacquer or low-gloss matte accessories. • Visual punch. Reawaken the senses this spring by incorporating a striking visual element to the home. Multi-dimensional surface treatments in pearl, metallic and gold/silver combinations add panache as a coating used for hardwood, or can be applied to wallpaper, furniture or decorative accessories. And don’t forget to look up — coffered

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ceilings bring a striking je ne sais quoi to any room. • Manipulated metals. The versatility of manipulated metal makes it a great addition to any style home - from hand-crafted artisan to contemporary high gloss. Copper, pewter and nickel are getting in on the action Coffered ceilings are an easy way to add a visual element to the home. and can be styled in a vari- Courtesy photo ety of ways, including hammered metal sink basins, tin-look ceiling tiles, antiqued copper light fixtures and brushed stainless steel cabinet hardware. If you’d benefit from a little windfall to help finance your fabulous spring home improvement projects (and who wouldn’t?), consider checking with your favorite vendors, many of which are running seasonal promotions.



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distinctive. elevated. spacious. stylish.

2,824 to 3,429 sq. ft. 3-Bay Garages From the $900s To learn more call our New Home Specialist at 858.342.8797 PardeeHomes.com Sales Office 6780 Lopez Canyon Way San Diego, CA 92126 858.433.7804

and very well connected. If you’re looking for something out-of-the-ordinary, you’ve come to the right place. This intimate enclave of just 20 homes enjoys tranquil canyon views, spacious floorplans and a wealth of thoughtful appointments including energy efficient LivingSmart® features. All in a convenient location close to work, shopping, schools and recreation.

Welcome to the Sorrento Prestige Collection.

All square footage is approximate; pricing subject to change. Landscaping, trees and shrubs not included in the purchase price. Information is accurate as of the date of the publication. Models do not reflect racial preference. Photograph representative of a similar locale. CA Contractor’s License #251810.

March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014


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Sowing the seeds of spring: How to start your garden indoors (BPT) — While cooler temperatures slowly fade, gardeners across the country eagerly await the arrival of spring — and the chance to get outdoors and grow something. If gardening is your passion, you don’t have to wait until the weather is perfect to get started. In fact, working ahead by growing your own seedlings is a great way to ensure your garden is successful throughout the warmer months. “Planting seedlings indoors before transplanting them into the ground is a great use of time and money,” says Darin Brockelbank, owner of Metro-Greenscape, landscape design and outdoor specialists, and members of the Porch.com home improvement network. More than 1.5 million professionals participate in the network, offering services for more than 90 million projects. “Growing seedlings is something homeowners can easily do on their own and save their money to hire professionals for larger projects.” Starting your own seedlings offers many advantages, including the ability to get a jump-start on spring planting. Growing your own plants from seed is less expensive than buying small plants and provides access to a much wider variety of plants. The pros at Porch. com offer these tips for starting seedlings to get your garden growing:

Caring for seedlings It’s important to provide seedlings with constant moisture, but don’t let the soil get soggy. If you used plastic wrap or covers, remove them from containers once seeds have sprouted. When leaves appear, begin fertilizing with a liquid fertilizer. Pay close attention to the dosage amounts recommended on the fertilizer packaging; seedlings are fragile. Check on seedlings daily until you’re ready to plant them outdoors. “If your plants begin to bud before you transplant them to the outdoors, wait to move them until they are fully bloomed,”-Brockelbank says. “If you transPlanting seedlings indoors before transplanting them into the ground helps save time and money when plant them while they are starting a garden. Courtesy photo buds and cool weather hits, Selecting seeds Some seeds can be planted and started indoors, while others need to go directly in the ground outdoors. As you’re choosing seeds for your garden, read the packets thoroughly to ensure the seeds you’re buying are appropriate for indoor planting. Be aware that many vegetable seeds need to be planted directly in the ground. Most packages will also include information on what time of year to plant, so follow the guidelines for best results. In general, start seeds about six weeks before the last frost date. Check the Farmer’s Alma-

nac Frost Date Calculator with plastic wrap or plastic to find out when that is in lids will help keep soil and seeds moist. your area. Choosing containers Seed starter kits are available for easy planting, but any container will do as long as it is about 2 to 3 inches deep and has drainage holes. Egg cartons and paper cups are inexpensive and easy options; be sure to poke drainage holes in the bottoms. Fill your containers with a good soil mix — never use regular soil from your yard. Seeds need just the right texture and mixture of nutrients to succeed. Covering your containers

Setting the environment In order to germinate, most seeds need a steady temperature of about 78 F. You can create localized warmth for seeds through use of electric heaters or heat mats placed under containers. You can also try placing containers atop warm appliances, such as a refrigerator, as long as they will also receive ample light in the location. Once seedlings push through the soil, you can move them to a windowsill where they’ll get more natural light.

they could get frost bite and die. When it’s time to transplant the seeds, make sure the soil is no cooler than 60 degrees.” Of course, not everyone with the urge to grow a garden has the time to invest or the green thumb to achieve it. If you find yourself lacking the resources to plant and care for seedlings, Porch.com has plenty of professionals who can help you get — and keep — your garden growing. “The hardest part of planting seeds indoors is caring for them before they are transplanted,”-Brockelbank says. “Once they transplanted, the are plants should be very low maintenance.”

TIRED OF GREEN WATER? “i can turn your drab pond in to a beautiful garden”

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Full service pond expert specializing in aquatic ponds, plants and equip. maintenance, 35+ years experience

Freshwater Flora & Fauna, Inc.

dc @ pondplants.com | (760) 522-3471 | www.pondplants.com


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March 21, 2014

‘Envision’ a new and functional outdoor space Farm-to-table, sustainability and eco-friendly are buzzwords that are taking over newsfeeds and headlines wherever we look. Restaurants, markets and other businesses are capitalizing on a movement that focuses on producing food locally and living a resource conscious lifestyle. One area business is leading a movement that is connecting clients to their landscapes through innovative design and construction techniques. En-

vision Landscape Studio’s impressive resume of local landscape overhauls is a showcase of well-planned, water-conscious projects that are as functional as they are beautiful. The business of landscaping has undergone many changes in recent years in aligning with shifts in our society’s view toward resource and material consumption. “For instance, showing off your high-end barbecue was once a trend in landscaping,” Navid Mostatabi of Envision Landscape Studio said. “The current trend is less about the objects we put in our landscape and more about how we use and experience our outdoor spaces. “The new trend is to share your cooking skills using fruits and vegetables harvested from your garden. “People are now showing off their rainwater harvesting systems and solar panels mounted on shade structures in the landscape. Lawns are shrinking and the extra space in the garden is being filled with beneficial plants such as fruits, vegetables, California native plants, succulents, and other varieties of drought tolerant plants.” A couple of the firm’s recent projects exemplify their mission. In Pacific Beach they created an urban farmstead disguised under the clean contemporary design style they are known for. The job incorporated a chicken coop, fruit orchard, raised vegetable garden, outdoor kitchen, planted vertical wall, prefabricated studio and rainwater harvesting tanks to capture roof runoff. In Rancho Santa Fe, Envision completed a custom outdoor vegetable structure made of redwood and steel mesh panels. Around the structure there was a series of swales created that capture rainwater and allow for deep soaking in rain events, which minimizes the need for irrigation. All the vegetables and the orchard are irrigated by a 5,000-gallon underground tank, which captures rainwater during the winter from surrounding hillsides. This project was collaboration between Carson Douglas Landscape Architects and Envision Landscape Studio and is a prime example of how clients are tapping into the company’s knowledge of materials and plants to create one-of-a-kind landscape features. On another project in Encinitas, Envision is

keeping rainwater on site through several planted bioswales. “By keeping rainwater, we reduce the impact on existing storm water infrastructure which means less water runoff finding its way to our streams and eventually ocean,” Mostatabi said. “We see landscape architecture as an artistic expression of the synthesis of man, environment and social interaction,” Mostatabi, Envision Landscape Studio’s licensed landscape architect, said. “We strive to create spaces that are innovative, sustainable and responsive to existing environs.” According to Mostatabi, landscaping is about much more than a pretty garden or yard. “Landscaping can be a complex and important element to the local ecosystem and an integral part to the Southern California indoor/outdoor lifestyle.” To that end, irrigation efficiency, storm water management, habitat creation and the creation of outdoor rooms are a few key elements of landscaping that go beyond aesthetics. Sustainability and water conservation are undeniably notable benefits to a landscape overhaul. One additional benefit worth mentioning is a return on investment for a homeowner. “In general, creating a space that can serve as an extension of the house is going to get a homeowner the most bang for the buck. We are creating outdoor rooms that are competing with indoor rooms and encouraging people to spend more time outside of their homes,” Mostatabi said. Envision Landscape Studio combines landscape architecture and landscape contractor services. “This allows us to view our projects from both an artistic perspective and a constructability perspective,” Mostatabi said. “This method of working results in seamless communication between the client, the designer and the contractor. Envision Landscape Studio is licensed to perform the anything you can dream of in the landscape: concrete, masonry, carpentry, electrical work, gas lines, drainage, grading, irrigation and planting. Envision Landscape Studio is an award-winning company that operates design/build offices out of San Diego and Walnut Creek, Calif. Call them at (800) 4141860 or visit envisionlandscapestudio. com for more information.

March 21, 2014

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March 21, 2014

CityMark Development’s Primrose Lane coming soon Exclusive 11-home neighborhood in Encinitas Designed by the award winning team of CityMark Development, Primrose Lane offers North County homebuyers an exclusive single family home neighborhood designed to meet the expectations of a busy family.

By complimenting the more relaxed lifestyle that is characteristic of Encinitas, Primrose Lane is the perfect neighborhood for those who want to take in of all of the natural benefits that exist in this coastal area; highly desirable schools, an active lifestyle, and access to an eclectic arts community. These two story, family friendly homes range in size from 2,146 to 2,498 square feet and are located in a cul-de-sac setting that offers views of the surrounding picturesque hillsides and easy access

to shopping, downtown Encinitas and local beaches. With four distinct floor plans available, each Coastal Spanish styled home is designed to offer contemporary features from spacious great rooms, oversized master suites with walk-in closets, gourmet kitchens with island and countertop dining, as well as a mixture of bonus rooms and flex spaces. These environmentally conscious homes are built with designer selected European Quartz kitchen countertops, stainless

20th Anniversary Mother’s Day Weekend

Art, Garden & Studio Tour

May 10 t h and 11th, 2014 10am to 4pm

Here’s a fun Mother’s Day weekend treat! Take your favorite “mom” on a leisurely tour of eight distinctive North County gardens where you can peek into an assortment of fascinating artists’ studios and peruse more than 40 unique exhibits of locally made art. Free refreshments will be served at every stop. Tickets available April 7 at $20 each at Off Track Gallery or online. Kids 17 & under free when accompanied by an adult

We are a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization ID#953169585

San Dieguito Art Guild’s Off Track Gallery Lumberyard Shopping Center, Suite C-103 (behind Starbucks & St. Tropez) (760)942-3636


steel appliances and “Barcelona-style” raised panel cabinetry, as well as money saving energy efficient windows, tankless water heaters, and front yard water-wise landscaping. CityMark’s detail oriented design includes pre-wiring for CAT6 and RG6 data as well as electrical placement for flat screen televisions and ceilings fans. With the limited edition of only 11 homes in this community, and in-

terest already high, homebuyers are encouraged to register online and pre-qualify with the preferred lender to reserve their place on the priorty. Primrose Lane homes are priced from the high $600,000’s and will be available for sale this Spring with moveins anticipated for early Summer of this year. “CityMark takes pride in its delivery of homes that build a bet-

ter quality of life for our homebuyers,” commented Russ Haley, vice president of CityMark Development. “We believe Primrose Lane exemplifies the chararacteristics of Encinitas living.” . For more information regarding Primrose Lane please visit the website and register your interest at primrose-lane.com or call their sales staff at (760) 231-1988.

March 21, 2014


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Ranch resident helps homeowners realize landscape dreams RANCHO SANTA FE — If you’ve been in the Ranch recently, chances are you’ve encountered the gorgeous renovation of the The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. The four-month project was the undertaking of Terra Bella Landscape, who worked in conjunction with Davis Reed Construction to bring new life to the historic space. Despite a time crunch to get the property ready for the wedding of owner John Moores, the renovations were completed and the results are spectacular. Though it was a special and significant project for Jason Jarvis of Terra Bella Landscape, epic renovations are nothing new for him and his team. Terra Bella Landscape celebrates one decade of business this year, a milestone Jarvis is particularly proud of. Jarvis is a Rancho Santa Fe resident whose business has grown wildly to include projects ranging from the design of small outdoor spaces to complete multi-million dollar overhauls of equestrian estates. The Terra Bella team offers design, build and even maintenance for their clients. They also specialize in the design and construction of outdoor-living spaces, including pools, outdoor kitchens and landscape lighting. The quality of the services provided by Terra Bella Landscape earned them Readers’ Choice awards in Ranch & Coast Magazine for the past three years. What resonates with their clients is Terra Bella’s ability to produce their

Their clients agree. “Thank you for completing our project on time and on budget,” a client and Carlsbad resident said. “Your team is very professional and respectful of our home and our family. We love our new yard. Thank you!” Jarvis’ true passion for landscape design has deep roots. Coming from a family of developers, he constantly found himself at nurseries looking at plants and trees in his free time. He eventually decided to dedicate himself to landscape full time. Whether a client wants their landscape to become water-wise or they are looking for a lavish outdoor dream space. “Whether you are looking for a decadent display of outdoor luxury living or a simple park-like garden — we will deliver your vision to you,” Jarvis said. “We employ experienced artisan craftsmen that are trained to have an eye for detail and take pride in their work. We use only top quality materials that are specially selected for your individual project.” “Terra Bella Landscape is the best,” said one recent client and Rancho Santa Fe resident. “They were so professional, and knowledgeable. They listened to our ideas and took off with them. What they produced was the most amazing work. Our landscaping looks like the Four Seasons.” Terra Bella is so committed to their clients that they aren’t just looking for a one-off collaboration. “Our goal is to become your landscaper for life,” Jarvis said.

space to entertain and escape, Terra Bella Landscape has the team to get the job done. Another Rancho Santa Fe client “highly recommends” Terra Bella Landscape. “These guys get it,” he said. “They have a pro designer and do excellent work. They just completed our landscape and it is beautiful and exactly what we wanted — professional, clean and reliable!” For more information about Terra Bella Landscape or to schedule a free consultation and estimate, call Jason Jarvis at (858) 335-8151. Visit tblandscaping.com for more information and to see photos of their work.


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March 21, 2014

Harmony Homes in Vista offers homebuyers exceptionally built homes at an exceptional value. Courtesy photo


Harmony Homes offers incredible prices at their Amarra community

Outdoor lighting can play up the more decorative features of a yard, including flower beds. Courtesy photo

Available at:

Bay Park 1103 Morena Blvd. 619.276.0003

San Diego 5700 Kearny Villa Rd. 858.565.7477

El Cajon 1220 N. Magnolia 619.588.7755

Temecula 27250 Madison Suite F 951.296.3880

Escondidio 602 N. Escondido Blvd. 760.839.9420

Vista 611 Sycamore 760.598.0040 COMING MAY 2014 Chula Vista 15 N. 4th Ave. 619.585.1001

Encinitas 133 El Camino Real 760.634.2088

Hours: M-F 7 am - 5 pm Sat: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm Closed: Sunday



color sample


Offer Expires: 5/31/14

Harmony Homes’ Amarra neighborhood in Vista offers homebuyers quality built homes with exceptional value in Southern California. The homes are enhanced by open concept designs with spacious living areas flooded with natural light. The popular community features two 2-story floor plans ranging from 2,562 to 2,865 square feet, with prices starting in the high $400,000s. Conventional, VA-$0 Down and FHA financing are available with No Mello-Roos! “Thanks to innovative, smart design, we’re able to make the most of the floor plans we offer at Amarra. They have an incredibly spacious feel due to our open concept designs and even include an option for up to five bedrooms with three full baths,” Harmony Homes President Robert Beville said. “Both plans also feature luxurious master suites with separate tub and shower, dual sinks and spacious walk-in closets plus generous secondary bedrooms and three space garages.” Homes at Amarra include buyer inspired features such as gourmet kitchens with beautiful granite countertops, convenient work islands with counter dining, abundant cabinet and drawer space, butler’s pantry and quality GE appliance packages. Each floor plan includes ample second-floor lofts

with additional closets for storage along with upstairs laundry rooms. Additionally, all homes built by Harmony Homes come with a long list of energy conscious features. These homes are built more efficient than older homes, which translates to reduced energy consumption and savings on monthly utility bills. “Amarra has been incredibly popular, and we know the high quality and value of our homes has been a huge draw for buyers, but they also love the location,” Beville said. “There’s great recreation, dining, shopping and entertainment all around Amarra, including the 16 acre Vista Sports Park, The Wave Water Park, Vista Valley Country Club, as well as Restaurant Row and the Pacific Ocean is just 9 miles west. Buyers love it because there’s something for everyone.” Harmony Homes, which was included in the 2012 BUILDER Top 100 list — recognizing the nation’s best-selling home builders, has sold more than 1,700 homes since it was formed in Southern Nevada in late 2008. Currently offering two new communities in Southern California and 10 neighborhoods throughout Southern Nevada. To visit Amarra at 1145 Maryland Drive: From Interstate 5, head east on state Route 78 and exit on N. Melrose Dr. turn left, then left on Highland Dr. then right onto Maryland Dr. From Interstate 15, head west on state Route 78, exit Vista Village Dr. and turn right, then left on West Broadway/West Vista Way, then turn right on N. Melrose Dr. and then left on Highland Dr. and right on Maryland Dr. The Sales Center is open Friday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about Amarra, call (760) 330-3793, or visit amarranewhomes.com.

March 21, 2014

Lars Remodeling & Design educates homeowners

“Say what you mean, mean what you say. It’s not just a slogan, it’s the way we do business” says Jason Larson, president, founder, and resident optimist of Lars Remodeling & Design. In March of 1991, Jason, a second-generation home remodeler, founded Lars Remodeling & Design. Built on the family values and training of his father, Lars Remodeling & Design has grown to be one of the largest and most respected home remodeling design-build firms in San Diego. For more than 23 years, Lars Remodeling & Design has built its reputation for excellence on a foundation of trust, service, and integrity. Building on that foundation, and seeing a need in the industry for homeowner education, Lars University was created. Coining the phrase, “Educate Before You Renovate,” the Lars University Homeowner Workshop Se-

ries is educating homeowners on the complexities of remodeling. Says Larson, “There are a lot of bear traps out there and we want clients to know that we are a resource for them.” Though prospective clients attending this workshop may expect a hard sales pitch for Lars Remodeling & Design, they come away with anything but. Lars makes it clear from the start that while they would love to partner with homeowners interested in remodeling, their main goal is to teach homeowners at least one thing that may save them thousands of dollars and countless headaches while remodeling their homes. The Lars University presentation takes homeowners someplace where other remodelers doing similar workshops are not going — into the nuts and bolts of remodeling. They will take homeowners through the initial process of design.

If you’re not sure where to begin, they’ll help you to find your way, and show you that anything is possible. The interior selection phase can be overwhelming, but with the help of an experienced interior designer, it all comes together for an amazing cohesive look that fits your likes and lifestyle. And then it’s on to the scary stage of production, where everything is taken out, sometimes down to the studs, and put back together again to make those dreams become a reality in front of your eyes. Lars believes that communication is key to the success of any remodeling project. And by using the best of current technologies along with good old fashioned face-to-face meetings, homeowners can track the progress of their remodel anytime day or night. Visit LarsUniversity.com for information on upcoming workshops.

How to keep cats out of your garden beds Cats make for wonderful pets, especially those that are content with life indoors, where they can spend hours lounging on a windowsill watching the world go by. But some cats spend a significant amount of time outdoors, where they forage for food and take refuge in and around a neighborhood. Frequently, outdoor cats will return to the same place over and over again. If that place is your flower bed, you may grow aggravated by your uninvited guest. Once a cat has found a place to call its own, it can be difficult to persuade the animal to move. Cats can be attracted to planting beds because the soil is soft underfoot and may seem like the ideal environment to turn into an outdoor litter box. However, over time cat urine and feces can leave behind an offensive odor and damage plants. Other cats also may be attracted to the garden, creating territory “wars” or even more odor and activity. But


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Experiment with different deterrents to keep cats out of garden beds. Courtesy photo

homeowners can employ a variety of techniques to keep felines from digging in the garden. • Keep leftover citrus peels. Orange, lemon and lime peels scattered around the garden may be offensive to cats, who will likely opt to go elsewhere rather than ignore the odor. Over time, the peels can be removed or allowed to break down into a natural fertilizer. • Employ technology to surprise or startle the cats. Motion detectors that trigger lights or a sprinkler system can startle cats and keep them away from your

garden. • Make the garden uncomfortable to cats. Many cats do not like the feeling hard materials under their paws. Therefore, you can bury any number of items in the soil to deter padded feet. Some gardeners prefer to use chicken wire or rolled mesh around plants before covering the soil with mulch. The cats step on the dirt and feel the metal underneath, then move on. Branches, brambles, spiky holly leaves, or even rocks may keep cats from finding the garden bed hos-

pitable. • Employ natural scented deterrents. Some say that cats will be repelled by human hair. Visit a salon and ask for hair clippings to distribute throughout the garden. Urine from predators, like coyotes, may scare cats off, as well. Some cats may not like the smell of marigolds, which can be planted alongside other flowers in an attempt to keep cats at bay. • Erect barriers around the garden. Barriers can keep cats out of gardens. Erect a fence of lattice or metal to make it more difficult for cats to get inside the garden. • Make other areas of your property more attractive to cats. Homeowners who don’t mind the presence of cats on their property but want them out of the garden can take the unusual step of making another area on the property more cat-friendly. Plant catnip far away from the garden, giving cats a place to hang out without putting your garden in jeopardy.

Family flooring business treats customers like one of their own Few choices you make as a homeowner are as personal and as long-term as your flooring. Paint colors and furniture can be changed easily, but you will have your flooring for many years and through many changes in your life and style. The old adage “you get what you pay for” comes to mind. Of course everyone wants to save money, but when it comes to some things, your flooring included, the cheapest way isn’t always the best way. “Those who shop only the price because it is the cheapest, will get cheap work, cheap service, and in a lot of instances an improper installation that leads to problems down the road which nobody stands up for,” said Shane Munoz, of West Coast Flooring. “We have extremely aggressive and competitive pricing, but when you buy from West Coast Flooring we care more about the service we provide you and a positive experience when choosing flooring.” And there are a lot of choices at West Coast Flooring. “We offer a wide selection of hardwood flooring, laminate, natural stone, tile, carpet, LVT and vinyl,” Munoz said. “We offer the service of coming out to a customer’s home and bringing samples so we can do an inhome design consultation.” A new player in the carpeting arena is a new soft yarn that manufacturers are coming out with. “Anso Caress from Shaw and Silk from Mohawk are the two top brand names,” Munoz said. “The nylon fiber is not only durable but it’s softer than it has ever been made in the 50 to 60 years it’s been around.” There are some new additions to the wood flooring world as well. “In regards to wood, my favorite trend is the transition from a more distressed, ‘Old World’style floor to the new oilbased hardwood flooring,” Munoz said. “The colors created from this new style are much more contemporary

Shane Munoz. Courtesy photo

and organic then anything we have seen in the last 10 to 15 years.” As spring closes in, now is a great time for customers to make a change to their home. “Labor costs are still lower than they were back in the housing boom by far and we offer such programs as 12- to 24-month financing with low or no interest,” Munoz said. West Coast Flooring has been in business for 25 years. Originally opened by Ed and Claire Kruger, the business is now family-owned with their family Kelley Kruger and Shane Munoz. “But when it is all said and done, everyone in our company is a key player,” Munoz said. “They all play a roll in providing the best sales experience, installation, and overall customer service.” The family business mentality isn’t just for those who work at West Coast Flooring. “The reason West Coast Flooring stands out is because we want our customers to leave our store feeling like they are part of the family just as much as all of our employees,” Munoz said. “All of our employees have worked for us for four to 15 years and that is because we love what we do, we enjoy each other, and we all love helping our customers.” Coast FloorWest ing is located at 1617 Capalina Ave. in San Marcos. Call them toll-free at (877)-221-0430 or visit westcoastflooring.com for more information.


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March 21, 2014

Learn about new solar financing Upcoming solar luncheon to inform North County residents Solar power has been America’s fastest-growing industry for the past two years, allowing homeowners to save money while declaring energy independence. New financing options have changed the game for solar, allowing homeowners to go solar for cheaper than the utility. The North County cities of Oceanside, Solana Beach, Vista and San Marcos have opted in to a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, offering residents a new financing option for solar. The PACE program selected for these cities is called Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) financing. It provides property owners low-cost, low-interest financing options for energy efficiency upgrades, and can paid through property taxes over five to 20 years. The HERO

program includes fixed interest rates, tax write-offs and increased property value. If the homeowner moves, the loan is tied to the property, not the person. There is not a credit score requirement. “Never before have you been able to finance your solar system through your property taxes,” said David Savarese, director of project development at Sullivan Solar Power, a registered HERO contractor, “HERO allows homeowners to go solar for zero money out of pocket.” Sullivan Solar Power is working to educate the local community about going solar. Property owners interested in learning more are encouraged to attend the free solar power seminar March 22, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Oceanside Public Library (330 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside, 92054). The free seminar will cover solar technology, rebates and incentives, and the HERO program. To RSVP or to learn more, call 1-800-SULLIVAN or visit SullivanSolarPower.com.

Reasonable rates, local family man. Very reliable. Need paint? Call...


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Gardening myths still exist when it comes to using certain techniques. A few of the more common myths are dispelled here. Courtesy photo

Weed out gardening myths from facts Gardening is an age-old activity that was once a necessity but has transformed into a hobby for thousands of people. While gardening still serves practical purposes, many gardeners still consider it a hobby first and foremost. Time-tested gardening techniques have prevailed, but there remain certain myths about gardening that are best dispelled. The following are some of the more common myths associated with gardening. • MYTH: Compost tea is more effective than traditional compost. All over North America and the United Kingdom, gardeners have jumped on board the compost tea bandwagon. Compost tea is a fertilizer created by steeping compost in water mixed with sugar in brewing kits. The mixture is allowed to sit and aerate to encourage beneficial organism growth before it is sprayed on plants. Accord-

ing to supporters, compost tea suppresses disease and boosts plant yields. However, there is no evidence to suggest that compost tea works any better than adding compost in its normal state to the soil. In fact, leaving buckets of the “tea” around to ferment could actually create a breeding ground for E coli and other bacteria. • MYTH: Plants under stress should be fertilized. This is not the case. Horticulturists advise that fertilizing plants that are not deficient in nutrients can actually add to existing stress levels for plants. Plants are not often stressed by a lack of food, but rather heat, faulty planting or space constraints. A fed plant will use the energy to absorb the nutrients instead of defending against a blight or establishing better root systems. • MYTH: Young trees need stakes. It may be tempting to stake that little sapling to protect it against the weather and strong winds, but doing so may actually work against the foundling tree. Staking trees to inhibit swaying may not stimulate the tree to grow thicker, lower trunks that will help the tree in the long run. The Royal Horticultural Soci-

ety recommends that saplings be staked for around one year and then have the stakes removed to encourage the tree to be strong and stable on its own. • MYTH: Water droplets and sunshine lead to burnt leaves. Gardeners have been told to resist watering their plants during the hottest times of the day. Many assume it’s because water droplets lying on leaves will magnify the sun’s rays and burn the leaves. According to Dr. Gabor Horvath at the Eoetvoes University in Budapest, water droplets will rarely damage plants because the drops are too close to the leaves to cause burning before they evaporate. Watering during the hottest points of the day is not advised because water evaporates and gets wasted. • MYTH: Sand added to clay soil makes it looser and better for plants. Clay soil is a deterrent to gardening because it can be so hard to dig and difficult to cultivate, but some feel it’s best to add sand to the clay to make it a better soil mixture. You would need a great deal of sand to do this in the right manner, but many gardeners simply dig a hole, add sand and hope for the best.

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However, water runoff will pool in the sand and not be absorbed by the clay, potentially causing the plants to drown. • MYTH: Adding compost or potting soil to the planting hole for a tree or shrub is beneficial. Gardeners frequently add compost or potting soil to the hole where the root ball of a tree or shrub will be placed. But this encourages the roots to grow only in this nutrient-rich area, rather than spreading throughout the landscape to form a stronger and more durable root system. If you are going to amend the soil, do so evenly across the landscape. • MYTH: Use gravel or rocks in the bottom of planting containers to improve drainage. Rocks and gravel can actually impede the growth of plants and take away space for roots to grow. The drainage may be affected as well, as water will sit above the gravel or stones and saturate the roots. Stick with plain soil for better drainage results. A variety of gardening myths still prevail. Over time, behaviors can be changed if gardeners learn to separate myths from facts.

March 21, 2014

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Faux wood tile leads hot new trends in tile (BPT) — Fake and faux are far apart. Fake is meant to deceive, but faux is intended as a tribute or a toast to something great or beautiful. Faux wood tile is one of the hottest trends in home remodeling and home decorating. Paying tribute to beautiful hardwood flooring, faux wood tile is a ceramic tile that combines the rich, textured finishes and warmth of real wood with the durability, functionality and design flexibility of tile. And, it costs a fraction of what real hardwood flooring costs. “The strong trend toward faux wood tile is due to its contemporary, sophisticated look and durability,” says Kirsty Froelich, design director with The Tile Shop, the nation’s leading retailer of high quality, premium manufactured and natural stone tiles from all over the world. “That’s one of the reasons why you’re noticing it in upscale boutique hotels. The other reason is more practical. Because it’s water-resistant, you can use faux wood in parts of the home where moisture and water make real wood impractical, such as bathrooms, kitchens and foyers.” Designers and homeowners love the abundance of available finishes in faux wood tile, from natural, earthy tones to colors that many homeowners would never dream of staining in hardwoods, like washed-out whites and light grays. These lighter colors have become increasingly popular in contemporary homes with open, light-filled spaces that bring out the tile’s visual woodgrain texture. Just because faux wood tile looks like a million bucks, doesn’t mean it costs a fortune. The price per square foot is a fraction of what a homeowner would pay for real hardwood flooring, a point that has undoubtedly added to its appeal and rise in popularity. Beyond faux wood, Froelich points to other hot tile trends, including: Commercial style: Large-size tiles, typically seen in commercial or industrial settings, are all the rage in

Faux wood tiles are one of the hottest trends in home remodeling and decorating. Courtesy photo

upscale homes. Large 12-by-24-inch tiles and extra large 16-by-24-inch tiles give rooms a big, spacious look. Instead of paint or wallpaper, consider using 10-by-30-inch long wall tiles to add rich texture and color to your living room or great room. Glass and stone mosaics: Many homeowners are mixing little mosaic tiles consisting of different shades of natural stone with glass tiles in square, round and rectangular shapes to give their kitchens and baths a distinct, high-end touch of class. Reclaimed wood tile: Homeowners love the look and feel of reclaimed wood - like the wood from an old barn, an old wooden ship or antique furniture. But reclaimed wood can be quite expensive. Now homeowners can add that reclaimed wood style with wall tiles made of ceramic or natural stone that offer a natural, authentic weathered look. More texture: Homeowners are shifting away from shiny polished stone and moving toward more marble with a smooth or lightly textured finish. Homeowners are also mixing and matching different styles of tiles to create more contrast and a more layered, textured feel in their spaces. Floor to ceiling: Tile isn’t just for

bathroom floors and kitchen backsplashes anymore. Because of the low maintenance and high durability of tile, many homeowners are wrapping the walls of their bathrooms and kitchens, from floor to ceiling, in tile. In living and dining rooms, entire walls of tile add a warm, yet contemporary accent. Spa feel: The bathroom is still a place where a person can experience some peace and quiet in our busy, high-tech lives. That’s why the trend of turning your bathroom into a European spa still continues strong with the use of natural stones and soothing glass tiles. Timeless feel: For some homeowners, especially those who own an older or historical home, vintage subway tile or arabesque tiles deliver a classic, yet contemporary look that will never go out of fashion. Simulated stone and incredible patterns: With new printing technology, homeowners can get the natural, unpredictable look of stone in ceramic tile, offering a lower cost option to obtain the high-class look of marble, slate or granite. In addition, a new wave of incredible patterns on ceramic tile is emerging for the more daring homeowner.

Home construction methods face major changes All across North America, home builders agree that the best investment — for the occupant and for resale value — requires adopting the newest and most advanced methods and materials. One bold option already solving high fuel costs and safety during severe wind storms is a revolutionary concrete system to replace standard wood-frame walls. “The system erects the main structure of a house (or any building) with pre-assembled ‘insulated concrete forms’,” says Todd Blyth at Nudura, a leading name in this ICF technology. “Each reinforced concrete form interlocks, like Lego, to create one monolithic wall with a thickness from 4 to 12 inches. “The method has been certified, tested and made available as an alternative to wood framing for many years,” he continued. “It is only now, however, that the numerous occupant benefits, including the ability to withstand hurricane force winds, are suddenly in the spotlight. This kind of concrete home also provides superior fire and flood protection, sound resistance, plus temperature and draft con-

New methods and materials are being adopted in the construction of new homes. Courtesy photo

trol — and due to the insulation and durability, it can save you up to 70 percent on energy bills. You get a far stronger house with a warm and inviting atmosphere as well.” Green and beautiful Blyth points out that opting for an ICF home is environmentally sound as well. In addition to reducing or eliminating the drafts, cold spots and mold associated with wood, Nudura construction materials are more efficient and kinder to the natural environment due to:

* Recycled materials: The interlocking forms include a unique folding web design that is manufactured from 100 percent recycled polymers and steel. * Building durability: Concrete, instead of wood framing, reduces the need for trees, and since they are one of the most durable building materials, concrete structures can be expected to stand the test of time. * Waste reduction: Building with insulated concrete forms creates less waste during the construction process, sending less to landfills. The waste that

is created from ICFs is 100 percent recyclable. * Mold resistance: Laboratory tests confirm that unlike wood walls, this system does not support mold growth and the resulting health irritants that arise from airborne mold spores. * Energy performance: When combined with other energy-efficient construction methods, building with concrete significantly reduces the amount of fossil fuels needed for heating and cooling, and thus reduces the carbon footprint of everyone in the house. Even with this lifelong commitment to sustainability, there won’t be a tradeoff on any of the aesthetics we desire in a dream home, Blyth explains. “On the outside of the building, the concrete walls can be finished with smart-looking brick, or they can be beautified with stone, stucco, wood, and vinyl siding. The interior is wide open to dream features as well. Innovative architectural shapes, such as arches, bay windows and specific door styles, are easily achieved with the Nudura system to meet any desir ed interior design.”



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March 21, 2014

Spring into four simple DIY home decorating trends (BPT) — Whether you're personalizing a new home or revitalizing an old room, the start of spring is when newly imagined spaces become do-it-yourself realities. Here are four easy and affordable DIY tips to bring 2014's trends into your home. Don't just spring clean ... spring create Spring cleaning doesn't have to mean getting rid of everything in the garage. Familiar pieces showcased in a special way can be a conversation starter. Love cycling, but have an old bicycle that you don't ride anymore?- Consider using its components to construct a unique piece of furniture to showcase your passion for the sport. Peter Debelak, co-owner of Soulcraft Woodshop and Gallery, a membership-based community woodworking workshop in Cleveland, Ohio, did just that. He used Elmer's ProBond Advanced, a con-

struction adhesive designed specifically for bonding porous to non-porous mixed materials, such as metal to wood or ceramic to drywall, to create a rotating wine rack made out of a bicycle wheel, as well as a shelf and coat rack constructed from a repurposed bicycle crankset and handlebars. "More and more we're seeing people personalize their home decor by transforming fascinating objects they love into home accessories and furnishings," says Debelak. Go ahead, mix materials Vintage and contemporary design elements come together to create rustic contemporary looks. "Reclaimed materials will heavily influence DIYers, and contrasting shiny and rustic materials in projects will definitely be trending in 2014," says KariAnne Wood, designer, blogger and owner of Thistlewood Farms. Metal, wood, glass, ceramic — all of these key materials play essential roles in making your home

the center of attention. Mixing two, or even all, of these together will give you an edge in creating a unique space. Consider gluing pieces of metal and wood together to construct an industrial-style coffee table. Able to work on almost any substrate, ProBond Advanced's "opposites attract" formula delivers a heavy-duty bond between porous and non-porous sur-

Give piece(s) a chance Recycled wooden pallets and cable spools are trending now on Pinterest in 2014, as DIYers turn them into coffee tables, desks and wall art. "Homeowners are finding ways to bring an element of surprise to staple pieces. Taking utilitarian items and helping them live a new, more beautiful life will enhance any space this season," says Wood.

“More and more we’re seeing people personalize their home decor by transforming fascinating objects they love into home accessories and furnishings.” Peter Debelak co-owner of Soulcraft Woodshop and Gallery

faces. The glue doesn't leave a foam residue once it dries, so creating a masterpiece is as easy as glue, clamp and relax.

For a quick and simple patio transformation, spray paint large, wooden cable spools and use them as outdoor tables. Take it a step further by using Pro-

Bond Advanced to add a bold, ceramic tile mosaic without any grout, caulk or building required. Organize organically Most people kick spring off with a little time devoted to organizing. There are easy ways to make your current space functional for your lifestyle without sacrificing your design preferences. Don't let closet space get cluttered; rather, make use of a space you usually ignore. People are discovering new ways to make beautiful items more functional. That fabulous bench in your entryway may be storing winter coats in a secret storage space but your guests never need to know. Adding storage and improving organization can be just as creative as other spring decorating endeavors. Enhancing your storage solutions can include hanging an old door horizontally and attaching metal hooks to make an instant mudroom by your entryway.

Wire baskets glued to wood shelves become a great home for keys, shoes, and outdoor accessories. No time to build anything? Not to worry. Simply hang a shoe rack on the back of a door, and you have a perfect set of compartments to hold supplies in any room. This season, stay on trend without busting your budget (or your back) by stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing your most creative ideas. Whether you're upcycling old items found in the garage into new masterpieces, or giving a more modern pop to a traditional coffee table, this year's trends involve unique materials and bold design elements. The possibilities are endless, and it's important to have the right materials to complete every project quickly and correctly the first time. Learn more about Elmer's ProBond Advanced to help you get the job done.

Add your health to this spring cleaning’s to-do list (BPT) — Spring is a season for dusting, washing and polishing the home, cleaning up the yard of any winter debris and even cleaning the storage on the computer or laptop. Spring also should be a time to clean up your health — adding small habits to your lifestyle that can result in big changes to your well-being. From making simple changes to your oral care routine to finding a way to make exercise fun, the following small lifestyle changes are courtesy of Dr. Natalie Strand, the director of integrative medicine at Freedom Pain Hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz. She has worked closely with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Diabetes Association and dLife to promote

exercise and healthy living among people living with diabetes. • Relax, don't just rest — Stress is a huge contributor to poor health, but many people don't know how to manage it. People often mistake resting for relaxing, but it's not the same. Learn some stress-reducing techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation or meditation. • Spruce up your mouth health — You're already brushing your teeth twice a day, so make the switch to using oral care products that do more than just protect, but can actually help improve the health of your mouth. The Colgate Total regimen consists of brushing with the Colgate Toothpaste. Follow with Colgate 360° Total Advanced Floss-Tip Toothbrush using Total Advanced Pro-Shield Colgate Total Advanced Mouthwash. In just two

weeks, this regimen is proven to eliminate 15 times more bacteria than a non-bacterial control regi-

• Make exercise fun — Spring is the perfect time of year to combine exercise with social activities. Be creative to get endorphins pumping and think of things to do with friends such as taking a salsa class, archery lessons, or an evening walk around the neighborhood. • Get a spring tune-up — Doctor's appointments are important, but often pushed to the wayside. Make a list and schedule all your appointments at once: yearly check-ups, dental exams and cleanings, eye exams, etc. * Get seasonal — Check out your local farmers market. Buy seasonal foods and try to incorporate them in men, fights germs, fortifies your meals every day. Seaenamel, and improves gum sonal produce is more flahealth. It's a simple change vorful and densely packed with a powerful impact. with nutrients.

March 21, 2014


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Empty nesters want low-maintenance yards (BPT) — One of the first questions new empty nesters face is: what do we do with the nest? Some are eager to downsize and sell. Others like where they live and choose to stay put. No matter the decision, the property, new or old, is likely in for a makeover aimed at making routine upkeep more manageable. One of the key areas to tackle is the yard and garden. The following are tips for transforming a yard’s maintenance-hungry features, especially the lawn, into alternatives that offer fun and functionality without the fuss. • Create no mow zones — The lawn is often a yard’s highest maintenance feature. One simple way to reduce lawn maintenance is to strategically stop mowing certain parts of the yard, while continuing to maintain more desirable areas. Un-mowed areas needn’t look messy. Delineate the divide between mowed lawn and wilder spaces with a strategically placed stone wall or wooden fence. Adding clusters of ornamental grasses or shrubs along the new lawn’s edge also works to soften the border transition. For a bit of fun, sow some un-mown areas with wildflower seeds. Add green trails for impromptu strolls or heart-pumping walks by cutting a circular path through the no-mow zone. Post birdhouses or feeders along the route for bird watching. • Swap some turf for landscape beds — Freestanding landscape islands of trees, shrubs, bulbs and perennials are appealing low-maintenance features that can reduce lawn area. Landscape beds are also a solution for difficult to maintain stretches like steep slopes, rough terrain and curbside strips. It’s important to cover exposed soil with mulch to stop weeds from growing. To go from low to practically no maintenance, sprinkle a weed preventer like Preen on top of mulch to stop

weed seeds in the mulch itself from sprouting. Better yet, use Preen Mulch Plus, a premium bagged mulch with added weed preventers already mixed in. Available at Lowe’s stores and independent garden centers, it’s guaranteed to prevent more than 100 types of tough weeds, including dandelions, for up to six months. • Switch to lawn care “lite”— With less lawn why hang on to over-sized lawn care equipment? Today there are new compact choices scaled to yards under 1/4 acre including cordless electric mulching mowers, battery-powered edgers and programmable directional lawn sprinklers. There’s also a new spreader designed for small lawns, slopes and tight spaces that’s ergonomic too. The Ready2Go Spreader is a lightweight, hand-carried and battery-powered unit that comes pre-loaded with popular lawn products from Preen, Greenview or Vigoro to feed or treat up to 2,500 square feet. Each is refillable and pre-calibrated, so no settings are ever needed. • Deck the yard for fun and folly. Converting open spaces to outdoor entertaining areas is another way to reduce yard maintenance. Paved patios and decks make perfect places to sit, barbecue, dine or simply enjoy being outdoors. New composite decking, bricks and paving stones are definitely low upkeep installations. Other ideas include fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, gravel paths and terraces. Don’t just look at spots close to the house: come up with reasons to hang out in different parts of the yard. • Uncontained enthusiasm for containers — Downsizing elaborate garden beds is another area to explore. But don’t give up seasonal flowers: plant in containers. A booming trend among boomers, container plantings add accent color and seasonal drama to decks, patios, paths and other outdoor spaces. For

lower maintenance choose fewer but bigger pots. Just a few large containers of colorful plants will have a major impact. They also retain soil moisture better than smaller pots and need watering less often. Except in coldest areas, large frost-resistant resin or fiberglass containers can be left out year-round. For long-term plantings, check plant labels for USDA winter hardiness zones. Potted plants are more exposed to the elements, so choose ones rated one zone colder than usual. Life in an empty nest can be a time of rediscovery. Reducing lawn and garden upkeep is one way boomers can free up time for other more entertaining pursuits.


1412 Camino Del Mar Del Mar. Ca 858.461.1263


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March 21, 2014

Le Dimora homes showcases beautiful living Le Dimora’s unique collection of fine home furnishings, delightful accessories and award winning Interior Design Services has created quite a following in Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Jolla, Santa Luz and surrounding areas. The beautiful Rancho Santa Fe showroom creates an atomoshper of style and comfort, combined with timeless beauty- sure to satisfy all your senses. The talented, friendly interior design team provides personal in home service and handles every de-

tail imaginable to enhance their own signature style. From custom designed your home environment. With the finest-of the furnishings, luxurious bedmoment-design resources ding ensembles and window

ries, no detail is overlooked in bringing your home’s vision to fruition. Le Dimora’s newly opened 3,000 square foot Alfresco showroom embraces sunny San Diego’s outdoor living way of life. Le Dimora Alfresco offers everything one needs to decorate our beautiful outdoor living spaces. Boasting the best collections of outdoor furniture, area carpets, artwork, drapery panels, dishware, lighting and accents- in to choose from, Le Dimora's treatments, elegant lightnew durable, weather resisdesigners consult with cli- ing, exquisite hand knotted ents to identify and create rugs and eclectic accessotant materials. New for spring 2014- Le Dimora proudly announces the opening of San Diego’s authorized Ralph Lauren Home Furnishings Gallery. — featuring the renown designer’s iconic furniture, fabrics, lighting, exclusive artwork, rugs, accessories and fine giftware by Ralph Le Dimora’s unique collection of fine home furnishings has a popular Lauren. following throughout San Diego County. Courtesy photo From classic to modern, Ralph Lauren furniture offers a world of elegance and style, created with the finest materials and finishes. Visit Le Dimora's newly expanded 15,000 square foot showroom conveniently located in the Del Rayo Shopping Center at 16089 San Dieguito Road in Rancho Santa Fe. Interior Design Services available. Open daily. Call (858) 759-2709. Visit Ledimora.com.

New for spring 2014, Le Dimora proudly announces the opening of San Diego’s authorized Ralph Lauren Home Furnishings Gallery.

March 21, 2014


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ART OF MAHLIA Rancho Santa Fe Estate and Fine Jewelry, at 6024 Paseo Delicias, will host a trunk show featuring the jewelry of artist Konstantina Dimitra Mahlia (Mahlia Collection) from 4 to 9 p.m. March 27 and continuing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 28 and March 29. For additional information, visit ranchosantafejewelers.com, call (858) 756-4047 or email rsfjewelers@ yahoo.com. Photo by Sylvia Hardtw

Insulation: The key to ending drafts and cutting utility bills (BPT) — Whether it's the chill of winter or the heat of summer, our natural instincts are to adjust the indoor temperature so it is comfortable through every season. But if your home has any drafts or air leaks, expect indoor temperatures to fluctuate dramatically. Leaks and drafts can hinder the performance of your heating-ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and cause your utility bills to skyrocket. Why? Conditioned air continually escapes the home due to the gaps within the building envelope, and HVAC equipment will work overtime to reach the thermostat's set temperature. What's more, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that air leakage contributes to potential moisture problems that can affect occupant health and the home's durability. While traditional stopgap solutions, such as placing runners by doors, may provide some relief, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends homeowners take a comprehensive approach. First, detect where the air leaks are within your home. A certified Home Energy Rating System Rater will be able to help you identify such areas as well as help assess your ventilation needs for indoor air quality. Once all sources of

air leaks have been identified, air sealing techniques and materials can be applied. Caulking and weather-stripping are two of the most popular and common techniques that can help address air leaks. However building experts will suggest considering solutions that go further in terms of air-sealing. A recent study by the Building Science Corporation showed that heat transfer was much lower in a home equipped with spray foam insulation than with other, more traditional materials such as fiberglass or cellulose. The reduction, about 15 percent, indicates minimal thermal transmission and better block of heat transference, which can have a significant impact on how homeowners heat and cool their home.Installed by professionals, spray foam insulation, like that available from Icynene, works well in all climates to completely seal the building, filling every gap to stop air leakage and help reduce the strain on HVAC equipment. Spray foam insulation both insulates and air seals the entire building envelope letting homeowners cut their monthly heating and cooling bills by as much as 50 percent in some cases. As a long-term solution, spray foam insulation helps maintain a comfortable temperature year-round while helping to control monthly heating and cooling expenses. Thanks to spray foam insulation's air-sealing qualities, homeowners can reduce the size of their heating and cooling equipment since less effort is required to heat or cool the home, according to InsulationSmart.com. While air leakage can cause energy bills to sky-rocket, a well-insulated home and economical winterizing can help you get through the cold winter months.


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March 21, 2014

Low-water garden plants an option


A fence can be a good investment, but homeowners must take the appropriate legal measures and consider their neighbors before erecting any fences. Courtesy photow

Coping with drought is a way of life for many people across North America. The National Climatic Data Center, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, works cooperatively with Canada and Mexico to monitor climate and drought conditions across the continent. According to the NOAA, the globally-averaged temperature for 2013 tied as the fourth warmest year since 1880, when record-keeping began. 2013 also marked the 37th consecutive year with a global temperature above the 20th century average. Warm temperatures, when

paired with below-average precipitation, can quickly escalate and cause drought, making things difficult for those who make their livelihood by working the land or even just weekend gardeners. Low-water garden plants are a smart choice for those who live in areas that often deal with drought. These resilient plants can keep gardens looking lush and beautiful regardless of water restrictions. In fact, low-water gardening has become a popular trend among eco-conscious gardeners and even is a cost-saving measure for homeowners.

Establishing a garden of drought-tolerant plants requires knowledge of hardiness zones and which plants will thrive in certain areas. Native plants, in general, will be more tolerant to fluctuations in weather than plants that are imported. Contact a garden center and speak with someone knowledgeable about plants that will do well in low-water conditions. In addition, choose plants that have a reputation for drought resistance. Butterfly bush is very hardy and requires little water. Although it is considered an invasive plant in some areas, gardeners who keep on top of seedlings and off-shoots can keep the plant in control. This shrub will create an enormous amount of flowers that will appear in the spring and will continue to bloom throughout the summer. The butterfly bush also attracts scores of butterflies to a landscape. Pink evening primrose is full of delicate, pink flowers that spread on runners. It prefers dry soils, and even though it can thrive when soil quality is poor,

it cannot tolerate soil that is too wet. It can grow in USDA zones five to nine. A variety of sage plants, including white sage, black sage and Cleveland sage, are drought-tolerant and do well in climates like Southern California's. These plants produce blooms that attract insects and birds alike. Gardeners who would like relatively low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants can opt for succulents. Succulents, which include aloe, cacti and jade, are characterized by thick, fleshy water-storage organs. Succulents prefer bright light and can thrive in south-facing conditions. It's good to concentrate the most amount of watering for succulents during the spring growing season. Keep soil well-drained to avoid damage to shallow roots. Heed landscape conditions when selecting plants for the garden. Drought-tolerant plants are a good idea in those regions where weather is naturally arid or if homeowners prefer plants that can grow regardless of seasonal water restrictions.


CALL 760.479.5160


Lisa Giacomini Mortgage Loan Originator / NMLS: 290781 lisag@fcbmtg.com • fcbhomeloans.com/lisagiacomini 5796 Armada Drive, Suite 250 • Carlsbad, CA 92008

*Only good for loans closed by March 31, 2014 with First Choice Bank with Lisa Giacomini. First Choice Bank NMLS 177877, is not an agency of the federal government. All loans are subject to credit approval. Other restrictions may apply. All applications must be submitted in writing. This advertisement is not a loan disclosure and all disclosures provided after applying should be reviewed carefully. This is not a commitment to provide a loan approval or a specific interest rate. Card

March 21, 2014


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These animals might just help your garden Planning and maintaining a garden requires a lot of effort, which can result in an aesthetically pleasing addition to the landscape. But that hard work can also fall victim to nature when local wildlife find a garden too mouth-watering to resist. In an effort to rid a garden of unwanted pests, gardeners may unwittingly scare away animals and insects that might just protect the garden from more ill-intentioned animals. Not every creature that scurries is out to get prized petunias or to devour tomatoes. In fact, many can prove beneficial to gardens.


ber of animals burrowing people, but snakes are ideal predators who feed on in a yard. insects and rodents several Frogs times their size. Snakes are Frogs and toads will the right size and shape to prey on insects and make invade the burrows of pest the local insect population animals. more manageable. Toads eat mainly slugs, Butterflies who feed on the leaves and fruits of many plants. Frogs and bees Butterflies and bees and toads are attracted to water, so including a pond are responsible for pollior another water feature nating the vast majority of in the garden will provide plants. Avoid using pesticides them with a habitat they that may diminish butterlike. fly or bee populations. A beehive right next to a garBirds While it is true that den may not be practical, some birds can damage but don't make attempts crops, many birds are con- to destroy it. Consult with tent to feed on insects a professional beekeeper attracted to the garden, which helps to keep insect numbers in check. Chickadees, for example, will dine on aphid eggs, while larger birds may prey on mice or other rodents or simply scare them out of the garden. Jays and mockingbirds are known to be feisty and can even deter dogs and cats from a yard. Hummingbirds will sip on the nectar of flowers and help pollinate plants.

Bats have a bad reputation, as people unnecessarily fear bats because they believe them to be carriers of disease. But many bats feed off of insects or fruits and will not harm a human. The average brown bat can eat 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour, so it's easy to see why bats are good to have around. Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance but also harbor potentially dangerous diseases. Bats also may Snakes eat certain rodents, which Snakes in a garden can can cut down on the num- be disconcerting to some

Your home could be attracting termites


structures, and cracked or bubbling paint. As spring approaches, the NPMA shares these prevention strategies homeowners can use to protect their homes from termite damage. • Keep less frequently used rooms such as basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. • Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units which are on the outside of the home. The added moisture could attract Dampwood termites that need access to water. • Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles. Some species of termites colonize a home through the attic. • Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. • Direct water away from your house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. • Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes. Many signs of a termite infestation are unnoticeable. For an inspection or if you think you have an infestation, be sure to contact a trained pest control professional.

. st Hwy N. Coa

(BPT) — Spring is when pests come out of hiding and hibernation to search for new places to establish their colonies. Unfortunately, it's not only the flowers in your garden that attract pests but also your home itself. One of the most determined springtime pests is termites. Termites live up to their nickname of the "silent destroyer" very well as they can munch away at your home, virtually undetected. And, it's not just the critical support beams that they feed on. Termites can chew up floors, walls and even wallpaper. According to a study by the National Pest Management Association, termites cost U.S. homeowners approximately $5 billion in damage, which is not typically covered by homeowners insurance. Early spring is a critical time to be on the lookout for termite infestations. When the ground warms up, swarmers emerge to search for a suitable mate. If a pair chooses your home for their new residence, you could be looking at a colony of millions. The swarmers shed their wings during the mating process, so signs of these wings around windows and doors could be a warning of an infestation. Other signs include soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped, darkening or blistering of wood


La Costa Ave

to see what can be done to move the beehive without destroying it. Many animals and insects can be detrimental to the health of a garden. However, several animals are handy to have around and should be welcomed to the landscape.

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March 21, 2014