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Published by The Journal of the San Juan Islands, Islands’ Sounder and Islands’ Weekly

Best reads for your home and garden By San Juan Island Librarian Heidi K. Lewis

be beautiful, functional, and livable.

his inspirations and his creative path.

By Orcas Island Librarian Kathy Lunde

“Prefabulous + almost off the grid: your path to building an energy-independent home” by Sheri Koones. This book has a wide variety of homes that were all built off site and are engineered to be energy efficient. These designs go far in showing that prefab homes can

“Kaffe Fassett: Dreaming in Color: an Autobiography” by Kaffe Fassett. Many of our island patrons are familiar with Fassett’s books showcasing his designs for the home and for the body. Everything he touches, he covers in bold colors and shapes. In this book, he shares

“Family Spaces” by Candice Olson. Olson is a Canadian designer who appears frequently on HGTV in addition to having her own design firm. She’s adept at taking difficult spaces and making them work for her clients and then shares that process with her readers.

“The Timber Press Guide to Gardening in the Pacific Northwest,” by Carol and Norman Hall. This book presents all the information a gardener—whether novice or expert— needs to keep their garden beautiful and thriving. With a combined 100 years of gardening experience in the Pacific Northwest, the author explains the unique challenges and joys of gardening in the region. “The New Sunset Western Garden Book.” The book’s features include: • Climate Zone Maps and growing-season graphs for all regions. • A new “Plant Finder” section helps you choose plants. • “A to Z Plant Encyclopedia” lists some 8,000 plants that thrive in the west.

“The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live” by Sarah Susanka. Architect Susanka believes that large homes place too much emphasis on square footage rather than on current lifestyles. She describes how to examine occupants’ lifestyles, how to incorporate the kitchen as the focal point and how, with storage, lighting, and furniture arrangement, a smaller home can be comfortably livable.

how it’s done.

By Lopez Library Director Lou Pray

“The intelligent gardener: growing nutrient-dense food” by Steve Solomon and Erica Reinheimer Solomon cautions,“There is no place on this planet that remains free of toxic residues.” There is something major you can do to reduce your risk. You can create balanced soil necessary for growing the most nutrient dense food through the ideal mix of minerals. Using this book you can tailor your own garden soil with a customized mix of fertilizer.

“Straw bale gardens: the breakthrough method for growing vegetables anywhere with no weeding” by Joel Karsten. Many islanders have rocky soil and on-going battles with the prehistoric horsetail (Equisetum) that makes the weeding war a forlorn endeavor. Enter straw bale gardening. This book will show you

“The Backyard goat” by Sue Weaver. When it comes to gardening and growing your own food (even on a quarter of an acre) the inclusion of the “backyard goat” is something to consider. Weaver does a thorough job of explaining the habits of milk goats, fiber goats, and pack goats.

San Juan Pest Control Services Caterpillars, Other Insects, Disease Treatment, Lawn, Weed, Fertilization, and Driveway Sterilization We service all sizes & types of trees & ornamental shrubs

40 years experience Locally Owned & Operated by Steven J. Billmyer M.S. Entomologist PO Box 44 Friday Harbor WA 98250



Helping to make your land functional, healthy & beautiful.

Don’t burn! Chip instead! Bob Berdan


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What to know about island pests By Steve Wehrly

ests are everywhere. They come in all sizes and species. Some fly and crawl, some jump and slither and others slime their way around. Some pests can be eliminated or controlled, others can be lived with and generally tolerated. The pests to fear, says Gordy Banry of San Juan Pest Control, are Hobo spiders. Difficult to identify and difficult to kill, Hobo spiders inject a fleshdissolving venom which can leave an open sore for months. They’ve only come to the San Juans during the last 25 years, but they are believed to have been introduced from Europe into North America in Seattle before 1930. They are a “funnel-web” spider, and they are

prolific, aggressive and have poor eyesight. Consult a pest control expert if you think they’re in your house or garden. The pests that cause the most trouble and are most prevalent in the San Juans, according to Banry, are carpenter ants and rodents. Carpenter ants, which don’t eat wood, carve living quarters and incubation chambers out of the wood in a house, a planter box or a tree. As they destroy wood, they quickly spread to form multiple satellite colonies within months of moving into a house or planter. Left unchecked, they can cause severe damage quickly. Banry says to look for small piles of sawdust or for the ants themselves, which regularly leave their nests

to hunt for food. Poisonous bait doesn’t work well; certain pesticides do, however. They are especially active in May, around Mother’s Day, when they develop wings and exit nests in large numbers seeking to make new homes. (Termites develop wings and exit their nests in August.) Rats and mice are prevalent on all islands. They transmit diseases and they can be a fire hazard because they chew insulation off wires, leading to shorts and then electrical fires. Rat baits can be effective to avoid an infestation, but care for pets must be exercised and traps work better to decimate established populations. For more info, visit

Thank you, Orcas Island

Contributors Publishers: Roxanne Angel, Colleen Smith Armstrong

for your continued support!

Editor: Cali Bagby Contributing Writers: Colleen Smith Armstrong, Cali Bagby, Cyndi Brast, Jody Burns, Heidi K. Lewis, Kathy Lunde, Steve Wehrly, Doug Poole, Lou Pray, Matthew “Wally” Wallrath Advertising Sales: Roxanne Angel, Colleen Smith Armstrong, Dubi Izakson, Howard Schonberger Production Manager: Scott Herning Creative Artists: Scott Herning, Kathryn Sherman

I bow my head with gratitude… Publication Information The Journal of the San Juans: 640 Mullis St., Friday Harbor, WA 98250 P: 360‑378‑5696, F: 360‑378‑5128 - The Islands’ Sounder: 217 Main Street, Eastsound, WA 98245 P: 360‑376‑4500, F: 360‑376‑4501 - The Islands’ Weekly: 211 Lopez Road #7, Lopez Island, WA 98261 P: 360-468-4242, F: 360‑376‑4501 -

Eventide Arbor Care Fine pruning View enhancement Technical removals Stump grinding Chipping

Austen Ater Certified Arborist

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Competitive rates On Island staff 24/7 & emergency service Free gas check Free home estimates Free tank replacement Propane appliance installation & service Ask about RINNAI on demand water heaters Orcas 360-376-2215 1593 Mt. Baker Rd. Suite A Eastsound, WA 98245 San Juan 360-378-2217 205 Weber Street Friday Harbor, WA 98250

When to prune or not to prune? By Matthew “Wally” Wallrath he San Juan Islands are historically famous for their orchards. However, many of the trees planted by our predecessors need some attention. Dead, rubbing or crossing branches, or fruit that falls before it ripens are signs that a tree is overgrown and needs

structural pruning. This is best done when the tree is dormant, which is from when the last leaf falls to when the buds begin to leaf out. These cuts can be extended all the way until flowers start to emerge. It’s best to remove dead weight and unproduc-

tive growth from a tree as soon as possible. Otherwise, there is risk of heavy snow or wind storms that can split a tree in half. Trees have different responses to pruning depending on when and how it is done. Dormant pruning will invigorate

• Wondering where your property line actually is? • Thinking of building a fence or a garage? • Planning a garden? • Phone: (360) 378-2300 • Email: Robert Wilson, PLS Jeff Iverson, PLS Patrick Kirby, PLS Andy Holman, LSIT

trees to send forth new growth. Re-growth will be limited when pruning in the summer. Vertical growth (suckers) can be removed after fruit is set so trees will focus their energies on fruit production. Leave some vertical growth to “calm” trees and prevent overproduction of suckers in the spring. Most of the year is fair game for small-scale pruning. However, avoid pruning when a tree’s leaves are yellowing. The exception to this is stone fruits, which are more susceptible to damp weather diseases, and should be pruned right after harvest. Frost damage is caused by sub zero temperatures, so avoid pruning in extreme cold. Whenever it’s time to prune, it’s also time to sterilize tools. Basic cleaning components

Prunus serrulata (Cherry Blossom)

include 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, a jar, a toothbrush and a clean rag. Remove any big chunks of wood from the tool, swish it in alcohol, and then give it a good brushing. Clean off sap and extra alcohol with the rag. Doing this before starting, between trees, and at the end of the day will help prevent the spread

Colleen Smith Armstrong photo

of pathogens and keep tools in good shape. Successful pruning is a multi-year process. Keep at it, and most seemingly feral trees can come around to look beautiful and bear good fruit. Wallrath is the owner of Wallrath Fruit and Forest on Orcas.


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Got the buzz? Island beekeeping 101

By Cyndi Brast pring comes a bit later to the islands, but that can work in your favor if you’re thinking of beekeeping this year. And if bees are on your mind, you’ve already taken the first step of a journey “buzzing” with enchantment for years to come. A little planning is all it takes to start. Background reading is essential. Good introductory books for the novice are “Honey Bees and Beekeeping: A Year in the Life of an Apiary” by Keith S. Delaplane or “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping” by Dewey M. Caron. Once you’re ready, you’ll need to select a bee hive, along with some basic, but important accessories. For some, a “Langstroth” Hive with moveable frames, which can give that extra bit of structure helpful the first year. Others may choose the less traditional “Top Bar” Hive instead. The bees seem to be happy with either as long as their home is in a good spot. Word of caution – most seasoned beekeepers advise against buying “used” hives and frames to prevent spread of pests

We’re here from start to finish. Free design & estimate consultation

and disease to your bees. The accessories? Some equipment basics you can’t be without: bee veil, smoker, bee brush, gloves and a hive tool. Don’t forget a hive stand to keep your bees off the ground and dry. It also keeps you from having to stoop. Lifting full supers of honey can become backbreaking work. Your next step? Hive placement. Really put some thought into this! Bees thrive in sunny spots (southern or southeast facing), with a windblock. Avoid roads, penned animals, and your neighbors. If you live in town, check zoning ordinances and comply or defy. Above all, when siting your hive, “bee” considerate! Once your hive is ready, you’ll need to purchase your bees. Ask other beekeepers for recommendations on where to buy, or do your own search online. Producers will either ship bees to you or require you to pick them up. Order your bees early to guarantee availability. Brast is a beekeeper and freelance photographer on San Juan Island.

Cyndi Brast & her happy hive. Contributed photo

Hints for your Hive • Bees need water, especially on warm days • Plant native landscaping for your bees to enjoy Check out Honeybees/ForageRegion. php?StReg=WA_2 for plant pollen and nectar sources for bees in this region • Subscribe to American Bee Journal or Bee Culture Magazine for helpful tips and industry-related research and news

• Also for the “new-bee!” Join the Washington State Beekeepers Association –, for hobbyists and professionals • Network with beekeepers by joining the San Juan County Extension beekeeping list-serve, email candace_jagel@wsu.eduto receive emails for news and events. • Register your bee hive with the Washington State Department of

Agriculture at PlantsInsects/Apiary/docs/ ApiaryRegistrationForm.pdf • Most important: Find a mentor or join a beekeeping club. You’ll get helpful advice from those more experienced and form new friendships in the process. Find out more about first year beekeeping when you follow The Daily Buzz at or join the community on Facebook at www.facebook. com/TalesFromTheHive.

Serving the San Juan Islands for over 15 years


NATURAL STONE  TILE  SOLID SURFACE COUNTER TOPS  CARPET  HARD WOOD  WINDOW SHADES  LAMINATE FLOORS Browse our gallery at Like us on Facebook 360-378-6071 • 22 Web Street • Friday Harbor, WA 98250 We service ALL ISLANDS

Spring is here… stop in to see what’s fresh at • Floral Arrangements • Tropical Plants • Unique Jewelry • Candles

• Northwest Artists • Glassware • Gift Baskets • Home Decor

(360) 376-4580

18 Haven Road Eastsound (Orcas Island) Washington 98245 10 am to 5:30 pm Daily

A list of deer-resitant plants Flowers: • Baby’s Breath • Calendula • California Poppy • Cosmos • Chinese forget-me-not • Marigolds • Snapdragon • Snow-on-the-mountain • Sunflower • Sweet Alyssum • Zinnia

Deciduous Shrubs: • Butterfly Bush • Cotoneaster • Daphne • Elderberry • Golden Currant • Hazelnut (Filbert) • Lilac • Potentilla • Red-flowered Currant • Red-twig Dogwood • Snowberry

Evergreen Shrubs: • Evergreen Barberry • Holly • Juniper • Oregon Grape • Rabbitbrush • Sagebrush For more information about deer resistant plant visit

Story of sweet succulents

By Colleen Smith Armstrong

ith their chubby, dense leaves and desert landscape coloring, I’ve got more succulents than I know what to do with. Plus, they are really hard to kill – as long as you don’t over-water them. Anyone following decorating trends on Pinterest knows that succulents are popular: they can grow in just about anything, whether it’s a mason jar or a screen door tacked to the wall. I have both indoor and outdoor succulents. There are outdoor varieties that do Hens & Chicks fine during the winter. They thrive when tucked into rock crevices or in between pavers. They can provide some much-needed color during the drab winter months. Winter pansies are

also wonderful for that – but I digress. A succulent stores water in its leaves, stems or roots and they have adapted to survive arid conditions all over the world. Because of their versatility, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. My all-time favorite is hens and chicks. The name is adorable and watching the “chicks” shoot off from the “hens” is always a treat. You can also pinch off the chicks with their long stems to make new starts. I like to find old glass containers, Contributed photo fill the bottom with rocks and plant a variety of succulents, all nestled together in a happy succulent family. Throw in some seashells and beach glass and you have a gorgeous centerpiece.


This spring you'll find a plethora of garden art, including hand blown, solar powered glass mushrooms & garden pods, a variety of sturdy garden stakes and baskets, pots, terrariums, watering cans, frogs and so much more! For indoors, we have added fun new glassware, handmade utensils, clocks, candles & votives and the usual 'unusual' collection of accessories for your home.

Eastsound Orcas Island 376-5522

Residential and Commercial Architecture P.O. Box 995, Eastsound, WA


100’s of • Air plants • Bonsai • Cactus


• Lucky Bamboo • Succulents and more… 270 Spring St., (360) 378-6550 Crash & Pearl — Proprietors

How to make your garden grow By Jody Burns

ome of your friends and family might think March Madness refers to those tall guys running back and forth on the court, dribbling and dunking the ball. But there is another March Madness: the irresistible feeling that your hands should be in the dirt, even if there’s a hail storm streaming through the garden knocking the daffodils to their knees. If dirty fingernail season has started for you too, here are some items for your to do list: soil test; early spring vegetables; remay; slugs. The single most important thing you can do it pay attention to your garden soil. Thinking you should amend it? Stop! Before you buy anything get a soil test. Go to Umass/Amherst at http://soiltest. It’s easy and cheap! The results are emailed to you within a week. (Hard copies mailed too.) They are detailed with specific recommendations about what and how much to add to your soil. Soil is the least understood component of most home gardens. Much of what you think you know, you’ve learned from advertisements and wandering the big box store garden isles. UMass/Amherst will tell you the latest scientific information about how to make your soil qualify for a photo spread in Sunset magazine. Early spring vegetables? Those are the ones your doctor recommends you eat more often: kale, mustard, pak choy, spinach, chard, arugula, and lettuce. If you’ve a cold frame, you can plant seeds outside now. If you buy starts, you can plant them and cover the row

with remay. You’ll be eating out of the garden in no time. It’s time to plant peas, too, but you won’t enjoy their sweet taste until June. Broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and cabbage seeds can be started indoors or in a cold frame. Remay is lightweight spun polyester used as a row cover in the vegetable garden. Sunlight and water permeate it. Insect pests can’t penetrate it. Best of all in our cool springs, the air temperature beneath it is 5 degrees warmer than the outside air. Available at most garden centers, it will make your early spring vegetables think they’re in California. Are your slugs back from winter vacation? Vigilance now will save you grief later in the summer. Slugs hide under boards, rocks, piles of vegetation, and deep inside overwintering ornamentals. Remove all these hiding places and hand pick the slugs. Beer poured into a buried plastic container, with a hole cut in the lid, is irresistible. You have to replace the beer every few days, but it works! If you use commercial slug bait, be cautious about which one and how much. It can kill beneficial soft-bodied bugs too. And as you mutter under your breath about yet another invasion, remember that at the University of Washington School of Medicine research shows that the slime a slug leaves behind may be extremely useful in treating medical problems. It’s proven that slug slime rubbed on a nettle sting stops the pain. Even our worst garden enemies have redeeming qualities. You probably have more ques-

tions about your garden than listed here. The Master Gardeners of San Juan County are here to help. We have volunteers on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island. Our Diagnostic Clinic begins April 18 and continues through the summer months. When you submit a plant sample and complete an information sheet, we respond with suggested solutions to your

problem. Samples can be submitted to the WSU Extension Office (378-4414) in Friday Harbor. We’re also available to answer home gardening questions. Find us at or call the WSU Extension office (378-4414). Burns is a Master Gardener for the WSU Master Gardener program.

• New Construction • Furnishings • Remodels • Window Coverings

Mitty Huntsman, Interior Designer

“Designing Solutions for Island Living” (360) 468-4099 •





890 Guard St., Friday Harbor, WA • 360-378-2220 •

San Juan Islands Conservation District

2013 Landowner Workshops & Events Growing Great Grass

Pasture Management Techniques to Increase Production for Horses & Livestock as well as Prevent Weeds & Mud

To Register ... April 19th • San Juan Island • 4:30 - 7:30pm • FREE!

April 20th • Orcas Island • 1:00 - 4:00pm • FREE!

Creating Success

In Your Small Farm Education Program

To Register ... April 20th • San Juan Island • 8:45 - 10:45am $15 for non-SJICD staff • coffee & light breakfast

What is Biodynamic Farming?

Learn about the origins of the CSA movement and get ideas on how to manage your own garden or farm from the soil up To Register ... May 22nd • Lopez Island • 10 am - 1pm• FREE!

Making a Paddock Paradise

Creating Winter Confinement Areas for Horses & Livestock To Register ... October 1st • San Juan Island • 4 to 7pm • FREE! visit to learn more

Steps to a greener home By Doug Poole here are many options available to homeowners in their efforts to green their homes, with a wide variety of investment levels. If your aim is energy conservation (and saving money on your power bills), then look to your home’s exterior shell. Most homes benefit from a peek in the attic or crawlspace to determine the conditions of the insulation that serves to keep your home snug and warm. Adding or repairing insulation lowers heating costs and makes your home more comfortable. Air-sealing floors and ceilings, light fixtures and doors, also helps to keep warm air in your home, and has the benefit of improving your indoor air quality and the health of your home. We have a very active rodent population in the islands, and the damage critters cause to insulation not only reduces its effectiveness, but also creates serious health hazards. Air leaks allow the compromised air from below your home to seep into the breathing spaces of your home’s interior. Heating, of both air and water, requires significant energy. Installing a heat pump will improve the efficiency of your current heating sys-

n our Garden Center! i w e N

Bare root trees & shrubs, a variety of roses, ground covers, flowers, & veggie starts...

New garden art, a selection of maple trees, oak barrels & colorful new pottery. Just in! 28 pallets of custom pottery in over a 100 different shapes, sizes and colors.

tem, lower your electricity bills, and also currently qualifies for an OPALCO rebate. Installing a heat pump water heater is an option for quickly reducing water heating costs. They also qualify for an OPALCO rebate, so if you have heavy hot water use (or teenagers taking showers), consider a new heat pump water heater. Indoor air quality is essential for health. You can improve the IAQ of your home by carefully selecting building materials to limit Volatile Organic Compounds and also by installing a quality whole-house exhaust fan. Mechanical ventilation, in conjunction with proper airsealing, will ensure the flow of fresh air to your home. Most of these steps toward greening your home benefit from expert advice. There are many programs and organization offering guidance and rebates. Poole has over 25 years experience in residential construction, both remodel and custom home. He is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional and is BPI (Building Performance Institute) Certified.

our Home Center! n i w e N Garden supplies: seeding soil, peat pots, seeds & seed trays. Organic seeds from Territorial, Botanical Interests & Burpee.• Wide selection of bird seed & suet, of hummingbird & seed feeders & roosting pockets.• Two sizes of greenhouses, easy to assemble and easy to store. City Pickers self contained growing unit

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Time to amend your garden with our Gardner & Bloome soil building compost and planting mix!

w w w. b r o w n e s h o m e c e n t e r. c o m 860 Mullis Street Friday Harbor, WA 98250 | Open Weekdays 7am - 6pm, Weekends 8am - 5pm

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Home and Garden - 2013  


Home and Garden - 2013