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Home and Garden 2018

THE

Herald

Republican


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Spring Home and Garden

kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

March 10, 2018

Ann Saggars

102 N. Main Street, Kendallville, IN 46755 (260) 347-0400

asaggars@kpcmedia.com Print & Design Manager

Randy Mitchell

Kanisha Bevins

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CEO/Publisher

Special Sections Graphic Designer

S. Rick Mitchell

Megan Knowles

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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

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Michele Trowbridge Machele Waid Jenny Ernsberger Walter Fisher Cindy Miller Jeff Jones

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Joy Newman

Spring Home and Garden is a special supplement to The Herald Republican, The News Sun, The Star, Albion New Era, Churubusco News and Northwest News, which are publications of KPC Media Group Inc. ©2018 All rights reserved

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Spring Home and Garden

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Locals tout the benefits of native plants Gardening with nature in mind

BY MEGAN KNOWLES mknowles@kpcmedia.com

The interest in native plants is growing, offering local beauty and support for wildlife to Indiana gardeners. “In the five years, it’s increased every year,” said Martha Bishop, who has owned Riverview Native Nursery since 2013. “There are a lot more people interested in natives.” Native plants are ones that have grown in northeast Indiana for “hundreds, if not thousands of years,” said DeKalb County Purdue Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Educator Elysia Rodgers. Therefore, these plants are adapted to the region and are used to its seasonal changes. Native plants gained popularity in recent years due, in part, to an increased interest in homesteading and reconnecting with nature, Rogers said. Another draw of native plants is how they interact with native animal species, Bishop said. “I supposed you could take it back to the monarchs’ decline,” she said of the increased interest in the fate of butterflies. She mentioned the increased interest in bees and other pollinators as well as possible reasons for the increased interest in natives. Because they’ve existed together for so long, native plants tend to be more beneficial for native wildlife than non-natives, invasive or cultivars of native plants, Bishop said. “Our native plants are needed for our native wildlife. It starts with insects and goes right up the food chain, so whether you’re interested in birds, bird gardening, bird watching…native plants are important for them,” she said. For example, native columbine has twice the sugar content plus important amino acids compared to non-native columbines, Bishop said – perfect for hungry, migrating hummingbirds. In fact, she said the blooming of the columbine has been adapted to sync up with the annual migration of hummingbirds.

“(Using native plants) adds such a fascinating dimension to your garden to watch pollinators, the butterflies, the caterpillars munching, to watch the birds,” Bishop said. “You’ll have more than just the esthetics, eye candy of pretty flowers, it engages all your other senses and pretty soon you get interested in identifying the birds and all the different type of butterflies and telling one bee from another. It’s endlessly fascinating.” Natives can have downsides too. They tend to not be as showy as plants bred specifically for that purpose, Rodgers said. They have also been accused of looking weedy, but both Bishop and Rodgers said intentionality is key when using natives. KPC FILE PHOTO Rodgers suggests using natives as accent Martha Bishop, owner of Riverview Native Nursery in Spencerville, sells native pieces, while Bishop said to plant natives in plants at a farmers market in Leo. Bishop said the interest in native plants has groups. grown in the five years she’s owned the nursery. “You have to provide visual clues of intentionality to avoid it looking like a lot Duraberm is a of weeds,” she said. “If it looks like weeds, Low Cost Stone you’re just going to have one here and one there. If you plant nine asters, it will be so Alternative For impressive when it’s in bloom, it’s going to Driveways, wow people.” Farm Lanes & Bishop also recommends using bird Parking Lots feeders and houses, lawn art and benches, Available at Butler Mill Service Co. and architectural elements to help make a native planting look “like a garden and not a prairie.” The Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society website, inpaws.org, offers information on native plants, invasive species, landscaping tips and more. Bishop encourages gardeners to try natives, using a quote from Douglas Tallamy’s book “Bringing Nature Home: How you Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants” as inspiration. “‘Chances are you never thought of your garden – indeed, all of your property – as a wildlife preserve that represents the last chance we have for sustaining plants and animals that were once common throughout the U.S., but that is exactly the role our suburban landscapes are playing,’” Bishop quotes. “I love that. … People realize that they do make a difference.”

For residential, call Michelle Hutchins (260) 438-7743 Contractors, call Kurt Crowel (219) 406-1194


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March 10, 2018

Living outdoors BY AMY OBERLIN aoberlin@kpcmedia.com

Some people are turning their homes inside out, encouraging al fresco cooking, dining and entertaining. “We have seen an increase in the outdoor living areas over the past few years,” said Dawn Musson of Musson Builders, based in Steuben County. “People, especially on the lake, want to maximize the use of space for outdoor cooking and socializing.” Expanding on the traditional backyard grilling experience, landscaped and architecturally sculpted outdoor cooking and dining areas can be part of a home’s floor plan. Musson Builders has created outdoor living areas for a number of customers over the past several years, including patios that serve as dining rooms, firepits that serve as summer living areas and partially sheltered cooking areas for at least three seasons. Many of Musson’s recent clients live on Coldwater Lake, just over the Steuben County border into Michigan. Musson

Builders and George and Kathie Babcoke designed the 2017 People’s Choice Home for the Builders Association of Northeast Indiana Builders Parade, “Katka’s Koliba,” in the 600 block of Pearl Beach Drive-South on Coldwater Lake. Jack Musson said the 4,000-plus-squarefoot Katka’s Koliba stands out for its attention to high-scale detail. It features an outdoor kitchen and fire ring with extra seating created by an 18-inch-high stamped concrete wall near a sandy beach that reaches hundreds of feet into the lake. There is an extra entrance to a laundry and bathroom area that includes an ice machine for summer lake days, so soggy swimmers can get what they need without entering the main living area. Outdoor showers are a popular option for lake homes. “Whether your home is close to the beach, you live in a region that’s nice out all year long or have kids that are known for running around in a neighboring field

PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

An outdoor bar area facilitates outdoor parties on the lake.

and returning with muddy feet, the benefits to having an outdoor shower are infinite,” says a May 2017 article by Paige Alexus in “Dwell” magazine. In the northeastern Indiana lakes area, an outdoor shower allows swimmers to rinse off lake water after a swim.

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Spring Home and Garden

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Houseplants: home decor statement and health booster BY EMELINE RODENAS erodenas@kpcmedia.com

AUBURN — When most people think about home decor, the first ideas that come to mind are painting walls with bright colors and getting new furniture in a different style. In her book, “Indoor Plant Decor: the Design Stylebook for Houseplants,” northwest Ohio-based author Kylee Baumle emphasizes using houseplants to make a statement instead. “I’ve grown houseplants my entire life — since I was 16 years old — so I’ve learned a lot by trial and error over the last 45 years,” Baumle said. The book published in 2013. It focuses on eight different decorating styles — classic elegance, traditional mix, modern eclectic, cheap chic, haberdashery, world beat, peaceful zen and vintage vibe — and various ways people can use houseplants to enhance each style. Beneficial effects on health Even if you don’t normally notice

a plant’s presence, seeing a plant can subconsciously make you feel calm and relaxed. Studies have shown that environments that have live plants increase a person’s well-being. NASA has done studies that finds certain plants will purify the air of toxins if enough of them are in the space. These plants include Boston fern, English ivy, peace plant, dieffenbachia, snake plant, spider plant and more. Other beneficial effects are enhancing concentration and memory, boosting moods and lowering the risk of illness and reducing airborn dust levels. During a tough winter flu season, it can make all the difference. For those with allergies, this can help people’s breathing and sleeping patterns. Also, by increasing humidity levels, people suffer less from dry skin as a result of the arid winter conditions. Healthline recommends having one potted plant per 100 square feet to feel the benefits. Plants as decor

“A large houseplant can be a focal point. You can take a houseplant and change its look simply by the container you put it in. A grouping of different houseplants in containers of coordinating colors or shapes can enhance a room’s style. Growing plants in a terrarium or Wardian case also gives a room a completely different vibe,” Baumle said. Upcycling items such as barrels, drawers and more is another way to give a room a unique touch. Having a living, breathing focal point can also add a splash of color to a room. Using smaller, bright, solid-colored containers and placing them on a shelf with beach-related items can help give any room a beach theme or vibe. “The majority of houseplants are tropical and often have colorful foliage and brilliant blooms,” Baumle said. For example, orchids come in a virtual rainbow of bloom colors. Red begonias have patterned leaves in purples, reds, silver and various shades of green. Easy-to-grow amaryllus bulbs

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PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Using smaller, solid-colored containers and placing them a on shelf with beach-related items can help give any room a beach theme or vibe.


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also bloom in every color imaginable, even during the winter months.

Low-care, low-maintenance plants One of Baumle’s top recommendations is the ZZ plant. “It has low light requirements, is forgiving when it comes to watering and has a beautiful architectural growth habit,” Baumle said. For people who prefer low-maintenance and low-care houseplants, there are a variety available. “Agaves, aloes and succulents in general are easy to care if you give them a brighter location,” she said. While ornamental, aloe leaves can also be used to treat minor burns. Philodendrons and pothos are classic easy-care plants that come in more varieties now than in the past. Norfold Island pines are easy too and have a different look than most typical houseplants by virtue of their soft needles. Houseplant care guidelines “When you buy houseplants, make sure to pay attention to the light requirements as listed on their tags. You won’t want to put a plant that likes high light levels in a room that tends to be on the dark side.

March 10, 2018

The biggest consideration is probably watering and it often means holding back on watering a bit,” Baumle said. Generally, overwatering is usually the most common cause of death of houseplants. “The best way to know if a plant has enough water is to stick your finger into the top inch or so of the soil. If you feel moisture, refrain from watering. If it feels dry, go ahead and water. It’s important to check on a daily basis and to water thoroughly when it’s dry,” Baumle said.

Seasonal changes “Since indoor conditions don’t change a whole lot, especially if you have both heating and air conditioning, there are general considerations to keep in mind,” she said. Plants with a high light requirement will struggle a bit in the winter because of the quality of light — there aren’t as many hours of daylight, nor is it quite as strong when the sun is higher in the sky as it is in the summer. Another thing to remember is humidity. “When heating during the winter, humidity levels are lower. To help plants have higher humidity levels, you can use

PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

In today’s world, planters can be made out of the most unique items and materials. People should consider upcycling items such as barrels, troughts and even desk drawers and using them as containers. Shown is a planter is made out of an old belt.

trays of pebbles with a shallow layer of water and set the containers on them. The pebbles will keep the container from sitting in the water directly,” Baumle added. Plants such as orchids enjoy the humidity and will bloom more beautifully as a result. Baumle’s book can be purchased online on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.

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COMPOST AND ITS BENEFITS What is Compost? Compost is the product resulting from the controlled biological decomposition of organic material that has been sanitized through the generation of heat and stabilized to the point that it is beneficial to plant growth. Compost bears little physical resemblance to the raw material from which it originated. Compost is an organic matter resource that has the unique ability to improve the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of soils or growing media. It contains plan nutrients but is typically not characterized as a fertilizer.

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• Improves the soil structure, porosity, and density, thus creating a better plant root environment. • Increases infiltration and permeability of heavy soils, thus reducing erosion and runoff. • Improves water holding capacity, thus reducing water loss and leaching in sandy soils. • Supplies a variety of macro and micro-nutrients. • May control or suppress certain soil-borne plant pathogens. • Supplies significant quantities of organic matter. • Improves cation exchange capacity (CEC) of soils and growing media, thus improving their ability to hold nutrients for plant use. • Supplies beneficial microorganisms to soils and growing media. • Improves and stabilizes soil pH. • Can bind and degrade specific pollutants. This message is brought to you by…

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PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

According to Kylee Baumle, author of “Indoor Plant Decor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants,” houseplants can make a statement by simply being placed into a different container such as a terrarium or Wardian case. The glass can give a room a unique vibe.

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Spring Home and Garden

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Locals seeing changing trends in flooring, tile BY MEGAN KNOWLES mknowles@kpcmedia.com

PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY JIMELLE FLOORING

The newest trends in carpeting include bolder patterns, said Jennifer Barkel, designer at Jimelle Flooring in Auburn.

but slate is in layers so it flakes off, so it would be a high-maintenance shower,” he said. “Natural stone usually soaks in, so you have to keep it sealed. Any natural stone will have a little bit of porousness and will absorb water.” Both Barkel and Shank said communica-

tion is key if someone is considering a bold look. “HGTV and Pinterest, they can be great inspiration, but they do bring out some of the big trends…how long are they going to See FLOORING page 8

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Bold floors and tile certainly make a room stand out, but be prepared before committing to such a look. Design trends that began on the east and west coasts have made their way to the Midwest. “The bolder patterns are gradually coming…carpets are using a lot of bold patterns,” said Jennifer Barkel, a designer at Jimelle Flooring in Auburn. “For a room they want to make a statement in, people aren’t afraid to use patterns in those areas.” But it’s not only carpet that’s seeing a bolder look, Barkel said, but tile and wood flooring too. “Even in small spaces we’re still using the larger tiles, so people are really liking those,” she said. “(In) wood floors, lighter colors are starting to come back, the natural colors. We’re mixing different sizes in the planks, so they may put a 5-inch plank next to a 3-inch plank with an 8-inch plank. That’s a real popular trend that’s going on right now.”

Oiled floors are also making a return, she said. Barkel said the most popular trend in flooring right now is luxury vinyl. “It’s probably the hottest flooring in the industry right now,” she said. “It’s waterproof, it’s extremely durable, some of them come with lifetimes warranties on them. They fit in all different price points and…it kind of fits the needs of people who have families or pets and want something real durable and still have that wood look.” Even some of the materials being used in designs are going in a bold direction, Shank Custom Builders owner Randy Shank said, adding he’s starting to see people use more travertine and even slate in showers. “I’m getting ready to do a shower right now that…for a border they’re using the stacked stone…which is kind of an unusual thing for a shower,” he said. While these showers can make a big statement in a bathroom, Shank warns they’re not without work. “I just did a slate shower. It looks nice,

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March 10, 2018

Planning ahead for aging in place

FLOORING From page 7

last?” Barkel asked. “I always tell people, something that’s going to have a lot of color, a lot of variation, those are going to probably be the ones that go out the fastest just because color shade (preferences) vary so differently even from year to year sometimes.” For those who like a bold look but who might be concerned about it, Barkel recommends using the look as inspiration and duplicating it with more neutral, natural tones, then bringing out details or colors with accessories like area rugs. “They’re easier to replace than a whole floor,” she said of area rugs. Likewise, Shank said he often recommends accessorizing showers using natural stone for a border and items like ceramics for the main portion of the shower. Accessories can go a long way in completing a renovation, Shank added, encouraging people to consider things like shower nooks and heated floors when embarking on a remodeling project. “(I want to) make sure they have all the options because it’s much easier to put them in (at the beginning of the project),” he said.

MEGAN KNOWLES mknowles@kpcmedia.com

When many people think of home, they think of family – now and in the future. As many people deal with family members aging and their own aging in general, they want to make sure their homes are well-suited for changes in the future. “Aging-in-place means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level,” according to the National Association of Home Builders’ website. “It addresses the need to remodel existing homes and design new homes so that people can age in place and not have to move to assisted-living facilities as they age.” These types of projects can allow people to be more independent for longer while allowing people to take care of their family members, Shank Custom Builders owner Randy Shank said. As with most remodeling projects, each one is specialized to a family’s custom needs.

“Each aging-in-place project is unique to the safety, comfort and accessibility needs of each of our clients,” Four Seasons Design and Remodeling Inc. Interior Designer Kristi Ellis said in an email. That being said, there are some common areas of the home that people look to remodel — none more so than the bathroom, which can be revamped from the floor to the ceiling to meet certain needs. Some items that could apply to any room include non-slip flooring, doors widened to 36 inches to accommodate wheelchairs and upgraded lighting for better visibility, Ellis wrote. Other considerations for the bathroom specifically included a roll under sink and comfort height toilets. The biggest space that people should consider in the bathroom was the shower. Ellis suggested either curbless shower entries or walk-in tubs, with shower niches that are easily accessible from a seated position. She also suggested

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considering grab bars, “or at least blocking built into the walls at locations needed in the future,” she wrote. Remodelers may also consider handheld shower heads “with at least a 60-inch long hose” and placing the shower valve, which should include a scald-guard setting, in a place that is accessible outside of the spray, Ellis wrote. More ideas for areas to remodel can be found at http://bit.ly/2Er1axF and include about every room in the house, according to the NAHB website. “Virtually all rooms of your house can be improved, even closets and garages,” the website states. Another important consideration for these projects is to consider them long-term, Shank said. “Don’t make (an addition) so specific that you can’t get any other uses out of it. Do it universal enough that it can be used as a rec room or a play room or an additional bedroom…or a study or den (in the future),” he said.


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March 10, 2018

Spring Home and Garden

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Early blooming flowers the first sign of spring METRO CREATIVE SERVICES

The arrival of spring is a welcome occurrence for many people, and budding flowers are among the harbingers of spring. Cold-tolerant flowers are ones hardy enough to start blooming before the last frosts have dissipated. Home gardeners looking to warm up their gardens with early blooms can use these flowers in their early-season containers, window boxes and planting beds. • Pansy: Pansies prefer cool weather, which can make them one of the best flowers to plant in early spring and late fall. Pansies come in a variety of colors, so there’s bound to be an offering that will blend with any homeowners’ landscape design. • Creeping phlox: Also known “moss phlox,” creeping phlox is a short groundcover that is a herbaceous perennial. Phlox produces small, fragrant flowers in dense clusters, which can attract wildlife, such as butterflies, to their mats across the soil surface.

• Snowdrops: Snowdrops can peek out even when there is snow still on the ground — sometimes as early as January and February. But their name is actually a reference to their appearance, as snowdrops have three white petals that hang down like drops dripping off the stem. • Violets: These flowers are closely related to pansies and, as a result, prefer cool seasons. Violets are generally slightly smaller than pansy blooms, but they can be just as beautiful. But as with pansies, violets will start to fade when the heat arrives. • Crocus: Crocus plants are relatively small, only reaching three to six inches in height. However, their grass-like leaves are some of the first sprouts that can be seen among bulb and corm plantings. Preferring full to partial sun, these gold, purple, lavender, white or yellow flowers can be enjoyed during the earliest days of spring. • Daffodil: Daffodil bulbs produce cheerful, yellow flowers in early spring. They’re one of the most recognizable flowers thanks to their familiar shape and fragrant aroma.

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Early-blooming flowers give winter-weary gardeners hope that spring has arrived.

• Lenten rose: Hellebores, also called the Lenten rose or Christmas rose, can tolerate light frosts. These blooms get their name from the time of year when they

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bloom, which is typically around the Lenten season. Despite their name, these delicate flowers are not actually related to roses, however.

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March 10, 2018

Weekend warrior: Quick home improvement projects METRO CREATIVE SERVICE

Large-scale renovations can greatly affect a home, but smaller projects can yield impressive results and be completed over the course of a single weekend. If time is of the essence, these weekend or one-day projects can yield some big results. • Create an accent wall: Painting a focal wall in a home can create a serious impact. As a bonus, it will not take as long or require as many materials as painting an entire room. Accent walls frequently feature a bold color, so decide on placement to tackle this project in less than a day. • Dress up the entryway: An entryway is a guest’s first impression of a home. Many entryways can use a minor overhaul, both inside and outside. Paint the front door a different color so it pops from the curb. Install a new mailbox or decorative house numbers. A new welcome mat can change the look as well. Inside, consider laying a new floor. Resilient vinyl tiles come in many different patterns and can mimic the look of wood, travertine or marble. Installing a floor can take a day or two.

• Install a new faucet: Instantly improve a kitchen or a bathroom with new fixtures. New faucets can provide aesthetic appeal and low-flow faucets can help conserve water. • Create a gallery on the staircase: Gather and arrange framed photos, artwork or wall accents so that they ascend the wall of a staircase. This creates a designer touch and can dress up an often barren area of wall space. • Install a fresh light fixture: Improve drab spaces with a little illumination. Better Homes & Gardens suggests replacing an existing fixture with something new and vibrant. If hanging a new fixture is not within one’s skill set, free-standing table or floor lamps also can cast a new glow on a space. • Add molding: Molding can add instant aesthetic appeal to a room. Molding is appropriate near the floor, at the top of walls where they meet the ceiling or even mid-wall as a chair rail. Some homeowners like to create framed molding on walls in formal living spaces. • Update kitchen or bathroom hardware: Replacing hardware is a fast and easy

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Home renovations do not need to take weeks or months. Many projects, like painting an accent wall, can be completed over the course of a weekend.

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Spring Home and Garden 2018  
Spring Home and Garden 2018