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HOME&GARDEN Coming next Sunday

‘ALICE’ CHESS PIECES

Protecting hostas

H

Online

THE FLOWERS OF MAY

Bait can stop slugs’ munching H5

Artful figures to be on tour

SUNDAY MAY 30, 2010

Dispatch.com/multimedia 

Coral candles by Pottery Barn ($10 to $19)

Rope knot doorstop by Warm Biscuit ($46)

ERICH SCHLEGEL

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Growing crops such as these tomatoes upside down deters pests and weeds and saves space.

Cove away from cove Nautical themes offer a cooling air of elegance

Upside down gains fans as way to grow By Kate Murphy NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

By Kim Cook

Sand dollar lamp by WilliamsSonoma ($295)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

W

ith the summer upon us, many of us are thinking about oceans, rivers and lakes, those calming bodies of water that beckon us. How do you keep the vacation alive after it has ended — or keep the dream of vacation alive before it has begun? Nautical motifs in decorating. If that has you thinking kitsch, think again. This year’s designs are all about stylish accessories and contemporary graphics far removed from the whimsies of beach-side souvenir shops. Adding a few nautical touches to even the most landlocked home can evoke a nice summery vibe.

With an emphasis on natural elements and a quieter palette, the decorative pieces tend to be textural and more subdued. You don’t have to live anywhere near sand to give the impression that you’ve enjoyed some excellent beachcombing. Pottery Barn stocks resin sand dollars and striking alphabet cone shells to dress a mantel or fill a clear vase. Add some sugary white sand, river pebbles or beach gravel for a no-maintenance accent that will last all season. Take a look at what retailers are offering.

Alphabet cone shells by Pottery Barn ($19)

Sail pillows printed with numbers by Wisteria ($89) Resin sand dollars by Pottery Barn ($19)

Sea grass, sand dollar, sea urchin and starfish wreath by Williams-Sonoma ($78)

Nautical wall clock by Warm Biscuit ($92.50)

If pests and blight are wrecking your plants, it might be time to turn your garden on its head. Growing crops that dangle upside down from homemade or commercially available planters is growing more popular, and its adherents swear they’ll never come back down to earth. “I’m totally converted,” said Mark McAlpine of Guelph, Ontario, who began growing tomatoes upside down two years ago because cutworms were ravaging the ones he planted in the ground. He made six planters out of 5-gallon plastic buckets. He cut a 2-inch hole in the bottom of each bucket and threaded a tomato seedling down through the opening, packing strips of newspaper around the root ball to keep it in place. He then filled the buckets with soil mixed with compost and hung them on sturdy steel hooks bolted to the railing of his backyard deck. “Last summer was really hot, so it wasn’t the best crop, but I still was able to jar enough whole tomatoes, half tomatoes, salsa and tomato sauce to last me through the winter,” said McAlpine, who plans an additional six upsidedown planters this year. Upside-down gardening, primarily of leggy crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, is more common partly because of the ubiquity of Topsy Turvy planters, available at retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens and Bed Bath & Beyond. According to the company that licenses the planter, Allstar Products Group in Hawthorne, N.Y., sales this year are twice last year’s, with 20 million sold since the device was invented in 2005. Not to be outdone, Gardener’s Supply and Plow & Hearth recently began selling rival upside-down planters. “Upside-down gardening is definitely a phenomenon,” said Steve Wagner, senior product manager for Plow & Hearth. The advantages of upside-down gardening are many: It saves See UPSIDE DOWN Page H2

With outdoor spaces, the sky is the limit By Melissa Rayworth Genevieve Gorder, host of HGTV's Battle on the Block HGTV

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Homeowners with sprawling backyards often put at least a bit of effort into decorating their outdoor entertaining space. Maybe they splurge on some high-end outdoor furniture and an elaborate grill, plus a few accessories to give the space style. But what about the rest of us? When a home has more modest outdoor space — perhaps a porch or patio, or a balcony off the master bedroom — these limited spaces are often ignored. Genevieve Gorder often sees clients who paid top dollar for a condominium with a small patio or balcony only to ignore the space because they don’t know what to do with it. Gorder, host of HGTV’s Battle on the Block and a judge on HGTV Design Star, says these small and mid-size spaces can seem tough to tackle.

Taking indoor comforts such as a fireplace, comfy chairs and an ottoman outdoors makes for memorable times.

“Any outdoor spaces can be kind of intimidating,” agrees designer Brian Patrick Flynn, founder of decor demon.com. “When you design a room, you have four walls, and it’s easy to conceptualize what will fill it. Outside, the possibilities are endless, and you don’t really have a sense of scale. The sky goes on forever.” But there are great design strategies for turning even the most unexceptional deck or patio into an inviting space for outdoor entertaining this summer:

Feature the floor “The biggest impact for your buck is to focus on the floor,” Flynn says. See OUTDOORS Page H2

05-30-2010

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THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Home & Garden

SUNDAY, MAY 30, 2010

UPSIDE DOWN

BREAKING NEWS: DISPATCH.COM

ANTIQUES AND COLLECTING

FROM PAGE H1 space; there is no need for stakes or cages; it foils pests and fungus; there are less, if any, weeds; there is efficient delivery of water and nutrients thanks to gravity; and it allows for greater air circulation and sunlight exposure. Although there are skeptics, proponents say the proof is in the produce. Tomato and jalapeno seedlings sprout from upside-down planters fashioned out of milk jugs and soda bottles that hang from the fence surrounding the Redmond, Wash., yard of Shawn Verrall, a Microsoft software tester who blogs about gardening at www. cheapvegetablegardener. com. Verrall turned to upsidedown gardening last summer as an experiment. “I put one tomato plant in the ground and one upside down, and the one in the ground died,” he said. The other tomato did so well, he planted a jalapeno upside down, too, and it was more prolific than the one he had in the ground. “The plants seem to stay healthier upside down if you water them enough, and it’s a great way to go if you have limited space,” he said. Although horticulturists and plant scientists agree that pests and blight are less likely to damage crops suspended in the air, they said they’re unsure whether growing them upside down rather than right-side up will yield better results. “Growing things upside down seems like a fad to me, but I’m glad people are fooling around with it and hope they will let us traditionalist gardening snobs know what we’ve been missing,” said Hans Christian Wien, a horticulture professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Hat molds can be valuable

KATE MURPHY NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

The Topsy Turvy planter, found at many retailers, is said to have 20 million units sold since 2005. Judging from gardening blogs and websites, those fooling around with upsidedown gardening are generally enthusiastic, particularly if they have planted smaller varieties of tomatoes. “Bigger tomatoes are too heavy and put too much stress on the vine, causing it to twist and break,” said Michael Nolan, an avid gardener in Atlanta and a writer for Urbangardencasual.com. Tomato varieties are labeled as either indeterminate or determinate, and

horticulture experts recommend choosing indeterminate ones for upside-down gardens. Determinate tomato plants are stubbier, with somewhat rigid stalks that issue all their fruit at once, which could weigh down and break the stems if hanging upside down. Indeterminate types have more flexible, sprawling stems that produce fruit throughout the season and are less likely to be harmed by gravity.

FROM PAGE H1 Paint a concrete slab or old decking with a worn finish using porch and deck paint, he suggests. “It’s fantastic on a pretty spring day. A lot of bold sunlight will dry that paint, and you’ll be walking on it within hours.” Gorder suggests shopping online for marine paint, designed for the hulls of boats. It’s impervious to weather and comes in great bold colors. Choose a solid color or paint some stripes to extend the look of the space. Then add some warmth. “I love the idea of layering little area rugs outside, in an ethnic, Moroccan-y way,” says Los Angeles interior designer Betsy Burnham. “We did it in sort of an American way on a porch in northern Michigan,” she says, “with striped kilim rugs. It made it so intimate out there, and you can sit down on them because it’s not just a cold outdoor surface.” No need to spend a lot, she says: “Pull them from in front of your sink. Be creative with what you already have in your house.”

Vary the vegetation

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Bringing lamps outdoors temporarily can create a mood.

all summer, consider mixing and matching indoor pieces just for occasional parties. Flynn uses masonry nails to hang art on concrete or brick exterior walls during outdoor parties, then brings the art in when he’s done entertaining. He also brings out a bedroom dresser (on Bring the indoors out casters, to make moving it simple) to use as a sideRather than decorating board, setting up a bar on your outdoor space and keeping everything out there top. These designers also love bringing out colorful, oversize floor pillows (either ones made for outside or ones you already use inSingle-family houses in Frankdoors) and clustering a few lin, Delaware, Madison, Mortogether. row and Union counties and “The best size is a 30some of Fairfield, Knox, Lickinch-by-30-inch,” Flynn ing, Logan, Marion and Pickasays. “It fits any size person’s way counties, according to the butt sitting down, but little Columbus Board of Realtors. kids can also curl up on it.” 5/27/10 A small outdoor dining Houses on market 15,521 area becomes exceptional when the table is set with Average price $215,021

House watch

Days on market

cloth napkins, napkin rings and even a bit of china and crystal, Burnham says. You wouldn’t leave these items outdoors all the time, but treat yourself to using them for summer get-togethers or an alfresco dinner for two.

Burnham and Gorder both advise selecting plants to create the perfect backdrop. “You want the height so that when you’re sitting you still have green behind you, not just down at the ground,” Burnham says. “Use some potted boxwoods,” she says, or small potted citrus trees, “and you’ll all of a sudden have this sort of manicured greenery outside.” Adds Gorder: “Anytime you can use the vertical, you can trick the eye” into thinking a space is larger than it is. She loves potted sea grass, which requires little maintenance and grows tall. Also, think color. “Flowers and plants are your paint outside,” Gorder says. She loves annual geraniums: “They’ll last all year and give that brilliant pop of color.”

Be clever about seating

“The key to making things look designer,” Flynn says, “is making them look custom.” Let it glow He uses Trina Turk’s line Many people assume that of outdoor fabrics from Schumacher (think bold adding lights outdoors rePalm Beach-inspired patquires elaborate, expensive terns) to cover pillows and wiring, Gorder says. But outdoor upholstery. If you’re there are tons of low-tech saving elsewhere, like using options for “creating the flea market furniture instead mood.” “Candeliers are gorgeous,” of new pieces, it’s worth splurging on a bit of custom she says, referring to metal racks hung with lots of can- upholstery, he says. And if seating space is dles. So are hurricane lamps, paper lanterns and artificial limited, Gorder suggests creating a long bench that LED candles. “Make it sexy outside and runs the length of one side people will be there,” Gorder of your balcony or patio. “Even if you have to cussays. “You’ll use that space tom-make it out of an old more.” Another can’t-lose choice: door or plywood, do it,” she Little white Christmas lights says. “You will use it.”

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5/28/09 Houses on market 14,764 Average price $233,444 Days on market 137  More statistics on Page H4

HOW TO REACH US HOME & GARDEN EDITOR Cindy Decker .....614-461-5027 cdecker@dispatch.com Fax ....................614-559-1754

Current prices

Prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States.  World War II Sweetheart plaque, woman kissing soldier, painted plaster, original hanger with string, 1 1 KING FEATURES SYNDICATE 8 ⁄2 inches by 11 ⁄2 inches, $155. This early 20th-century  Johnny Ringo Western papier-mache milliner’s game, board, red and blue head sold for $646 recently plastic markers, spinner, in Delaware, Ohio. 1960, Transogram, 9 inches color and makes it fluoresce by 17 inches, $160.  Effanbee Olive Oyl doll, under ultraviolet light. sawdust-stuffed fabric, Most uranium glass conhard-rubber head, red tains only a small amount of uranium, although older dress, arms outstretched, tag reads “I Am Olive Oyl, glass might contain as Popeye’s Sweetheart,” 1930s, much as 25 percent urani163⁄4 inches, $400. um. The amount of uranium in the glass will set off a  Rookwood Vellum swan Geiger counter, but it isn’t vase, landscape, three white considered unsafe to use. swans, trees and flowers, Production of uranium dated 1907, E.T. Hurley glass ceased during World mark, 9 inches, $2,115. War II, when uranium was  Berkshire Bitters bottle, unavailable for nongovern- Amann & Co., Cincinnati, mental use. Small amounts amber pig, applied mouth, of uranium are available circa 1870-75, 9 inches by today, and some uranium 4 inches, $2,400. glass is being made. Terry Kovel, an authority Q: I have a toy potbellied on collectibles, writes for stove that my husband King Features Syndicate. bought about 30 years ago. Write to her in care of The Q: I have a six-piece It’s embossed “Grey Iron Dispatch, King Features dresser set of Val St. LamCasting Co., Mt. Joy, Pa.” Syndicate, 888 7th Ave., New bert’s uranium glass from The stove is about 13 inches York, NY 10019. The volume the 1890s. With the uranium tall and has a piece to open of mail makes personal in it, is it safe? the top and another to stir answers impossible. She A: Uranium glass was first the ashes. What is it worth? can’t guarantee the return of made in the 1800s by adding A: Grey Iron Casting Co. any photograph but will try uranium dioxide to melted was in business from the if a self-addressed stamped glass. The uranium gives the late 1800s until the envelope is included. Visit glass its bright yellow-green mid-1900s. It made toys, her at www.kovels.com.

never lose their charm, Burnham says. She wraps a few strands around an olive tree just off her patio to add a soft glow.

OUTDOORS

banks, hardware, tools and other iron products. It was sold in 1967; in 1974, the name was changed to Donsco Inc. Your stove is worth about $100.

Hats aren’t as popular today as they were years ago, so fewer hat shops are making special hats fitted to a particular buyer. But in the 19th and early 20th centuries, milliners were found in every city and town. A hat was designed and created with the help of a milliner’s head. The milliner shaped, cut, pinned and fashioned the hat on the head. Then the finished hat was displayed in the shop. A life-size head made of soft wood or papiermache was used. Sometimes the top of the head was made of padded cloth so it TERRY was easier to pin the hat KOVEL to the head. If you plan to buy an old milliner’s head, look for pinholes. There probably will be flaking or damaged paint, too. Early ones were painted, but by the 1850s, some were made with printed eyes and mouths pasted in place. The hairstyle also helps date the head. Folk art collectors like these heads, so they’re pricey. An early one could cost $1,500; a 20th-century example, $500 or more depending on condition.

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Book is guide from seed to table AKRON BEACON JOURNAL

Some books teach you how to grow a vegetable garden. Some tell you how to cook the fruit of the harvest. But it’s a rare book that guides you through the entire process, from seed packet to serving dish.

Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food (Cool Springs, $19.95) does just that. The book represents the work of four people who share a love of gardening and food: lead author Jean Ann Van Krevelen and collaborators Amanda Thomsen, Robin Ripley and Teresa O’Connor.

05-30-2010

Interestingly, even though they had never met in person, they shared and organized their collective wisdom in 60 days. The book covers the basics of gardening, offers recipes that make the most of the fruits, vegetables and herbs from backyard gardens and teaches how to preserve that yield.

PAGE H2

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With outdoor spaces, the sky is the limit  

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