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MARCH 31, 2017


Air Masters celebrates a new location By LESLIE KELLY


Next time you’re in the market for a new heating or cooling system, don’t head up Mile Hill Drive. Air Masters, the premier Lennox dealer in this area, has moved. The company is now located in the Port Orchard Industrial Park at 1340 Lumsden Road. “One of the goals of this company is to serve the customer conveniently and faster,” said Mark Timmerman, who owns Air Masters with his wife Rosemarie. “Moving here, we’re right off Highway 16 which is a huge benefit to our customers and to our service techs. There’s lots less traffic and when we have freight deliveries there is room to turn around and park those semis.” Another benefit of the new location is that it’s all on the ground floor. “Here, customers are greeted immediately by a receptionist at the front desk,” Rosemarie said. With increased space and increased business, they added staff. They now have 18 employees, and have added three installers and another service technician. The Timmermans have been part of Air Masters since 2010, after running their own

Air Masters owners Mark and Rosemarie Timmerman. Contributed photo HVAC business Mark Air Inc. for 10 years. The original owners, Steve and Susan Krecker, retired in June 2016 after 30 years in the business. According to Mark, business is increas-

ing and he’s seeing many “Baby Boomers” decide to replace heating and cooling systems in their homes. “They’re at that time in their life where they know soon they will retire and be living on a fixed income,” he said. “And they’re tired of the old inefficient systems. So, they’re replacing them with new high efficiency systems that we are retrofitting in their existing homes.” In most cases, that’s Lennox heat pumps and Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling systems, their most popular items. “Ductless is a new technology,” he said. “It’s entering our market from overseas where it’s a common way to heat and cool a home.” The ductless system includes a small unit that is attached high on a wall and delivers heat directly to the space, rather than through a system of ductwork. Another reason for increased business, he said, is that there’s a pent-up demand. “In the past 10 years, homeowners have been cautious about spending money,” he said. “They were just repairing the old systems and holding on to their cash. But they’re feeling more confident about the

economy now and they’re deciding to make the improvements they want. We’re here to grow with that and to assist customers in whatever system or improvements they want to have.” As Air Masters looks ahead to the future, they have other reasons to celebrate. They just received the Best of West Sound “Best Heating & Air Company” for the fifth year in a row. Also, they were awarded the 2016 Super Service Award from Angie’s List for the second year in a row. “We are very happy to receive these awards, they are all driven by the consumer’s opinion of us or their voting for us. That makes us feel good, that we must be getting something right,” Mark said. As the owners of Air Masters, Rosemarie and Mark continue to be supportive of the local community. They drive their trucks in most local parades and help at community events. They are active in Port Orchard Rotary and help with the annual crab feed. Mark is treasurer of the club. They also support food drives for South Kitsap Helpline and they have donated gifts and food for the holiday programs ‘Port See AIR MASTERS, Page 11

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MARCH 31, 2017

It’s all about curb appeal, agents say By LESLIE KELLY


With spring and summer just around the corner, it’s time to think about putting your house on the market. Those months are generally the busiest in the real estate market, according to most brokers. But before you list your home, there’s work to be done. “Curb appeal,” said Wendy Wardlow, broker with John L. Scott Real Estate, Kingston office. “That’s just about the most important thing. I’ve literally had clients who wouldn’t get out of the car to look at a house based on how it looked when we drove up.” When considering exterior improvements, Wardlow said you don’t have to break the bank. Small, inexpensive things can make a big difference. “The front door is important,” she said. “If it needs to be painted or stained, do that. An ugly front door is a real turn-off.” And, she said, landscaping is important. If a homeowner can’t afford a professional landscaper, think about improvements you can make yourself, she said. “If a house has no landscaping, the homeowner will benefit from adding some,”

Wardlow said. “Put out some flowers in pots near the front of the house. Create some small beds and add some beauty bark, anything that will show that the property is well maintained.” And certainly, keep the grass cut and the sidewalks swept. A major focal point to buyers will be the roof. “Have it cleaned, and if it needs to be replaced, do that,” she said. “Sometimes sellers think that they can just take the cost of a new roof off of the asking price once they get an offer. But without an attractive roof, that offer may never come.” Other exterior items like loose door knobs and tacky mailboxes should be attended to,

agents said. Inside the house, take a deep breath. “Eliminate any odors,” Wardlow said. “Bad smells are one of the top deal killers in real estate. If it smells like wet Saint Bernard or cigarette smoke, no one will make it past the front room.” Wardlow likes to sell homes that are vacant that she has had professionally staged. “I stage all the homes that I list,” she said. “A house will sell faster if it’s professionally staged. But if that’s not possible, you need to de-clutter.” By that, she means take down all personal photos because they say “this home belongs to someone else.”

“All those refrigerator magnets and kid’s drawings that are attached to the refrigerator, they need to go,” Wardlow said. “And any excess furniture should be put in storage. The home needs to have an open feeling.” Another rule: “clean, clean, clean.” “I think it is worth the money to hire professional cleaners to come in and clean,” she said. “What’s clean to a seller may not be clean to a buyer. Every square inch of the home needs to be scrubbed.” Most professional cleaners charge from $20 to $30 an hour, and depending on the size of the home, a good cleaning can cost $250 to $500. Another very important thing is to make any necessary repairs. “Things like carpet tears, electrical wires hanging from a fuse box, or holes in the drywall, these need to be addressed,” she said. “Anything that is visible to a potential buyer could be a mark against your house being the house they choose.” Wardlow said one last thing to consider is pressure washing the exterior of the house. “If it needs it, do it,” she said. “Remember, it’s that first impression that makes or breaks a deal.”

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is published by Sound Publishing. For information about upcoming special publications, call 360-779-4464 Publisher: Terry Ward Special Publications Editor/Writer: Leslie Kelly General Manager/ Advertising Director: Donna Etchey Sales Representatives: Marleen Martinez, Bill McDonald, Josh Jakola, Mary Mollahan, Rich Peterson, Stephanie Lavin, Ariel Naumann, Marion Rhiabi, Priscilla Wakefield Marketing Artists: Mark Gillespie, Kelsey Thomas, John Rodriguez, Vanessa Calverley Copyright 2017 Sound Publishing.

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MARCH 31, 2017

Home improvement projects for spring



Just as daffodils and tulips pop out of the ground after a long winter, homeowners begin thinking about what needs sprucing up around their house. Local hardware, paint and remodeling contractors say people are also thinking about their bathrooms, kitchens and about lighting. “Lighting is something that people seem to be considering,” said David Henry, a builder on Bainbridge Island. “We had a customer who changed out all the exterior lighting on their house, and replaced them with new fixtures.” While the scale of projects varies significantly from person to person, Henry said when the weather begins to improve, folks begin to think about what they can do, or what they need to have someone else — a professional — do. “Things like installing heated floors and heat pumps, that’s best left to the professionals,” he said. “But some interior painting and replacing light fixtures, those are the projects you can do yourself.” Other projects he’s seeing this season are replacing kitchen cabinets, ranges and range hoods and replacing trim on the house. “Heat pumps are really big right now, too,” Henry said. “People are looking to be more energy efficient.” And with programs that are currently being offered by Puget Sound Energy, some homeowners are getting loans or credits from PSE to be saving energy, he said. Even commercial properties are making improvements. He’s seen building owners replacing floors with manufactures wood heated floors. One business location he works with replaced its computer system and added a cooling heat pump to counter the heat produced by the massive computer. Outdoors, Henry sees folks buying supplies to build raised gardens. “These are projects that they are doing themselves,” he said. “They want to grow their own food.” At Peninsula Paint, owners Diane and Ray Donahue are seeing customers who want to repaint their bedrooms and bathrooms. Employees said the popular colors are dramatic deep, bold rich colors such as blues and golds, with trim painted white. All shades of gray are popular, they said. Maybe it’s the “Fifty Shades of Gray” influence, they joked. “And it’s easy for us to tell what’s on Pinterest,” Diane said. “Because whatever it is, we’ll see customers rush in here and

Among popular spring remodeling projects is sprucing up the patio. Other trends are painting and adding new kitchen cabinets. Brandpoint Content photo that’s what they want.” “Shadow,” a dark gray, has been the color of the year by Benjamin Moore paints and people are using it along with white trim, too. And for any of the “do-it-yourself” projects, chalk paint is still the popular choice. “People like that distressed look,” Diane said. Throughout the nation, other popular remodeling projects have been adding ceiling fans, building in shelves, putting in dimmers on light fixtures, redoing kitchen backsplashes and adding mantles over the fireplaces. While spring has just sprung, Steve Mikami, owner of Ace Hardware on Bainbridge Island, said folks have been slow to “really get into any big outdoor projects yet.” “It’s still a bit cold,” Mikami said. “People are holding off on those outdoor projects and gardening.” He said, however, after the snow in February, when the sun came out for a couple of days, customers lined up for pansies and annuals. “They just needed a little color in their lives,” he said. “I think they were thinking ‘What’s a couple of bucks for some flowers if it will brighten my world?’ We sold out of everything in just three days.” His wife even put some flowers in a container on their deck, so that she could see color from the kitchen window. When warmer weather comes, Mikami’s anticipating outdoor garden to get into full swing. “We bought as much (inventory) this year as we did last year,” Mikami said. “And, I think this will be a good year for getting rid

of moss.” Because it has been so wet, there’s moss on lawns, on roofs, sidewalks and decks, he said, and Ace has products to get rid of it no matter where the moss is. Inside the home, he said, spring is always the time when people decide to paint. “They want to change the color in a bedroom,” he said. “Or they want to spruce things up before company comes to visit.”

Spruce up the patio

After a long dreary winter, most homeowners can’t wait to get back out on the patio or deck and enjoy the sun. But winter can be hard on decks. And with each year, those old furnishings can fade. So now is the time to make plans to spruce up your backyard (and front yard) patio and deck. The patio is often the focus point of your backyard. Simple and inexpensive accents like pillows, mirrors and lights can give your patio that “fairyland” feel, making it your favorite spot to watch life go by. Having a well-lit patio gives you the freedom to entertain guests, even when the sun goes down. Lighting can be installed easily if you have electricity near. If not, consult a licensed electrician to see about the cost of adding a few outlets around the patio area. Solar lights are always a great option, too. Area drug stores, home improvement stores, and craft stores offer a large selection of solar lighting options. Some are simple lantern-like lights that can be stuck in the ground around the patio edge. Others are more colorful and decorative and take on the look of butterflies, flowers, and large bulbs.

And don’t forget to look up. Consider hanging strings of miniature lights from the ceiling of the deck, or hang them across the open sky, attached to the house. There are lights on strings in white and in color and there are both solar lights and the kind you plug in. A third option is the buying a “star light.” These small-box-type machines can be plugged in and can spread the illusion of stars across the sky, to be enjoyed while sitting on the patio. An item that will need your attention is the flooring. Over time it becomes less appealing. Weather can cause cracks or imperfections to your patio’s floor. A simple way to deal with this is to find a nice outdoor rug at the imports store, or the local rug shop. Make sure to buy the kind that is meant for outdoors, if there is no covering over your patio. These are made with stronger materials that help it hold up in all kinds of weather. If the surface of your patio is wood, give it a new coat of stain. Even in a year’s time the color can fade, especially if the patio gets direct sunlight. If your patio is concrete and looks old, check at your local flooring or paint company for paint that is meant to be applied to concrete. When finished, it leaves a marblelike look. Accents, too, can really help brighten up a patio or deck sitting area. If your deck furniture is faded, but the bank account won’t allow for new, try adding some colorful pillows to give new life to the old chairs and sofa. Consider, too, looking at second-hand stores to see if there’s some used furnishings like an end table or old crates, that could be painted and added to your patio for a new look. Other ideas include lanterns (battery operated) hung from trees and lead to your patio. Candles are also nice on the patio tables. An arrangement of several colorful candles adds color and can add light after the sun goes down. Mirrors are also something that’s become popular. If there’s an unused fence or wall near your patio, put a mirror in a rustic frame and hang it close by. It gives a whimsical feel and can make the area look larger. And don’t forget that colorful seasonal flowers and plants in decorative pots will add much to your patio and deck. Arrange two of three pots of various sizes in a grouping for a visual focus point.

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MARCH 31, 2017

Gardening the low-maintenance way



Gardening is one of those hobbies that can take over your life, if you let it. That’s what the professionals say. But, if you want to garden, and have limited time, there are things you can do. Often times this is called low-maintenance gardening. Experts differ on just what low-maintenance gardening is, but in general, it means a garden that you don’t have to tend to every single day. Here are some thoughts from gardeners: • Trees and shrubs are the lowestmaintenance plants you can plant. Smaller plants, such as perennials and annuals take more work, while bulbs can be easy to care for if you select the right ones. • Try planting in sweeps and masses of just a few varieties, to reduce maintenance. The larger the mass, the better. Suggestions are that with larger plants, group in five to 10; for smaller ones 10 to 30. A smaller plant selection makes it easier to keep up with your garden. And take into consideration which plants are well suited

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Compost is great to add to the soil, but you still need two to three inches of organic matter mulch on top of that. • Weed on a regular basis: That will keep things from getting out of control. • Some of the low-maintenance plants to be considered are ornamental grasses, native trees and shrubs (which can be planted as borders), perennials which will last a few years, ground covers and bulbs. Select ones that are good for the Pacific Northwest such as tulips, daffodils and crocuses. • And remember, diving your plants is a great way to fill your garden. Dividing the plant can revitalize overgrown plants and doesn’t hurt the pocketbook. Laura Pittman-Hewitt, of Amber Gardens in Kitsap County, also suggests evergreen shrubs for low maintenance gardening. “They are great because they are native to this area,” she said. “Any native plant will need less attention.” Natives such as huckleberries are another option. “Try to get away from those plants that need a lot of watering and pruning,” she said. “Remember that, on average, a plant will grow two times the size that its tag says.” Blueberry plants are great for the area, too. “We have great soil and climate for blueberries,” Pittman-Hewitt said. “They can take the place of shrubs in landscaping.” They are cold-hearty and can be planted in just about any season, she said. But if you plant them in summer, you’ll need to water them because they can’t get “bone dry,” she added. Another option are what’s called “strawberry trees.” “They are actually a shrub and can grow 10 feet tall and about eight feet across,” she said. “They add variety and the birds love them.” To add some color and scent, try a few lavender and rosemary plants. “I just love both,” she said. “I’m a big evergreen grower. But adding these is sometimes nice.”

• A growing trend in low-maintenance gardening is to create areas of gardens where you use to have lawn. Experts say there’s nothing that requires more maintenance than the lawn itself. So if you can cut out an area that is sunny, and plant sun-loving plants, that will eliminate the mowing that you have to do. Plant both spring and summer bulbs to keep the color in that garden area throughout both seasons. Another trick to eliminating lawn that needs to be mowed, is to lay down paths that meander between your garden areas. Simple gravel, beauty bark, or rocks can be used on these pathways. • For shade areas, woodland gardens are practical and nice looking. Shade gardens have fewer weeds and need less watering. Consider asking your local nursery for suggestions of shade plants. • Once your gardens are planted and it’s time to care for them, water deeply but infrequently. Use the drench setting on the nozzle your hose. Or consider buying soaker hoses that can be used on timers. Hand-watering is way too time-consuming and overhead watering just wastes water on areas that don’t need it. • Use mulch in your gardens because Office 275-4992 (360) Office (360) 275-4992 it can help prevent weeds. It alsoOffice retains(360) Other275-4992 sources: www.Finegardening.com, water and regulates temperatureFax and helps www.sustainable-gardening.com (360) Fax 275-9605 (360) Fax 275-9605 (360) 275-9605 improve the soil. Pine needles, shredded 25022 NE25022 State Route NE25022 State 3 NE Route State 3 Route 3 PO Box PO Box 2940 PO Box 2940 wood chips and bark are suggested. And2940 Belfair, WA Belfair, 98528WA Belfair, 98528 WA 98528 beware of mulch that is really compost. www.hoodheat.net www.hoodheat.net www.hoodheat.net


MARCH 31, 2017

Home town paint store named the best By LESLIE KELLY


They’ve been around for 13 years. And everyone knows it’s the place to go to get paint and good advice about home improvement projects. And this year Peninsula Paint is the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year recipient. Owners Diane and Ray Donahue said they felt honored to be given the award. “We want to thank our loyal customers, contractors and employees,” Ray said. “Our success is due to them.” And, the honor, too, denotes their involvement in the community. For years they have supported community events, schools, nonprofits and the military. They’ve provided paint and supplies for jobs at the Marine Science Center, the Poulsbo swimming pool, Fish Park, Fishline, downtown murals, the gazebo, and for Windermere Real Estate’s annual community day. They have also been a part of the Viking Way Christmas Tree lighting committee. They’ve given to school auctions and to the Worthington Mansion in Quilcene. And just recently, they were named the first corporate sponsor of the USS Turner Joy. In that project, they’ve supplied paint for the maintenance of the ship’s interior rooms. “When you look at that list, I guess we

Air Masters Continued from page 3

Orchard Cares” and “Project Holiday” through the Shepherds & the Angels which supports families in need. Mark said Lena Price, operations manager and marketing director, continues her involvement with the Kitsap Building

Diane and Ray Donahue hold the award they were given when their company was named Business of the Year by the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce. Leslie Kelly photo have done a lot,” Diane said. According to the couple, they have criteria for the projects that they become involved in. “It has to be something to support families, schools or the community,” Ray said. Just why they do all this is easy for them to say. “It feels good,” Ray said. “And we want to

show our gratitude to all our loyal customers who’ve supported us for so long.” Competing with “the big box stores” can be hard for the mom and pop shops. But the Donahues know that the high quality paint they sell, and the great customer service is what keeps them on top. “Our customers know that when they come here, they are getting a quality

Association and planning all community events. She volunteers her time as a board member for Fathoms O’ Fun, which the company also support as a sponsor. “She looks forward to the ‘Back to School Celebration’ every year,” he said, “She has fun getting the back packs ready for donations and, also ordering items to hand out to the children. With the help of our employees, Lynae Goodwin and Teresa Tinner, they work as a team to make the most of the

event for the children.” The Timmermans have two sons, ages 18 and 11, and continue to be supportive of South Kitsap schools. Mark is a 1992 graduate of South Kitsap High School. “We love our town,” Mark said. “We believe that giving to the community is a great way to show how we have been so wonderfully supported by our community and the best way to show our gratitude. I’ve been a part of Port Orchard all my life and I


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Benjamin Moore paint, and in the long run, because it goes on better and lasts longer, they’ll save money.” Ray also said that Peninsula Paints has something for every budget. “We have different price points,” he said. With any painting project, Ray said 90 percent of the work is in the preparation. “That’s where our employees come in,” he said. “They can steer folks in the right direction regarding the paint and the ‘howtos.’ They know what’s good for specific projects.” While the Poulsbo store is where their corporate offices are, they have locations in Bremerton, Port Townsend, Bainbridge Island, and Gig Harbor. “Bremerton and Gig Harbor are our newest locations,” Ray said. “So in the past year we’ve focused on them a lot.” The Bremerton store moved to a new, larger location on Auto Center Way, and has been received well by the community, he said. Plans are underway to move the Gig Harbor store to a new, larger, more convenient location soon. Peninsula Paint has also been named the Best Paint Store in West Sound by Westsound Home & Garden magazine for the past four years.

wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” Visit their new location at 1340 Lumsden Road, Ste. 130, Port Orchard, 360-895-2527 Website: www.airmastersheating.com. Air Masters Heating team and their 1955 Chevy Panel Truck is at many local and community events in the areas they service. To keep up with where they may appear next, visit their Facebook page www.facebook. com/airmastersheating.

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MARCH 31, 2017

Think Hanley when it comes to roofing By LESLIE KELLY


For more than 25 years, residents in Kitsap and surrounding counties have relied on Hanley Construction when it came to their roofing needs. Since they opened their new office and showroom in 2015, the business has been “really busy,” according to owner Morgan Hanley. “We have incorporated more technology into our process,” Hanley said. Walk-in traffic at their office at 250 Bethel Ave. in Port Orchard continues to increase, he said, and he’s seeing homeowners invest in roofs, now that the economy is strong. “Our new office has been great,” he said. “We’re getting a lot more walk-ins.” The company, known for their red trucks, was started by his father, Oliver Hanley, a retired teacher who roofed houses in the summer on rentals he owned. His son, Morgan, joined the company in 2000. Oliver is still active with the company and is in charge of the company’s fleet of more than 35 vehicles. Oliver also does the final meeting with every residential customer. “That allows me to get good feedback,” Hanley said. “If I get similar complaints, then I know that there is something that needs to be addressed.” With each and every customer, residential or commercial, Hanley sends an estimator to the job site to provide an estimate. All residential roofs come with multiple warranty options. Costs, he said, can vary greatly depending on the materials the customer selects and the size of the roof being replaced. Hanley

Morgan Hanley, owner of Hanley Construction, a roofing company that works throughout Kitsap County. Leslie Kelly photo wants homeowners to be diligent when selecting a company to replace their roofs. “When the economy is good, more roofing companies pop up.” he said. “And then, in a few years, those companies go out of business.” That’s why it is important to select a local company like Hanley Construction that has a strong, familiar presence in Kitsap County for more than 35 years. “Roofs protect your home and are one of your biggest assets,” Hanley said, “That’s why it’s so important to work with a license, bonded and insured company. And make sure to look at the Washington state L&I (Labor and

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Industries) website to see that any company you are working with has paid L&I Worker’s Comp insurance on all of their workers. If they haven’t, and one of their workers falls off your roof, you could be held liable.” And speaking of safety, Hanley said the company is very safety-oriented. In fact, they are just two weeks shy of a year with no recordable accidents. “We have weekly safety meetings and we do random inspections one to two times a day on current projects,” he said. “We have three people in the field just doing safety inspections.” In all, he has 48 employees and

recently, appointed a new production manager, Chris Updegrove. “Chris is a wonderful addition to our team,” Hanley said. “He was a supervisor on our work crew and is very knowledgeable about our work process in the field. He knows the appropriate crews and vehicles to send out to every job. He handles all of our scheduling.” Updegrove’s promotion is an example of what Hanley tries to do for his employees. “These are career jobs,” he said of employment at his company. “We try to move people up through the ranks. We have very little turnover (in personnel).” On the commercial side, business has been good as well. “In the past few years we’ve completed large projects such as The Salvation Army in Bremerton, and Les Schwab here in Port Orchard,” he said. “This year, we’ve completed the New Life Church in Silverdale, and we’re doing the new Jimmy Johns, across from the Kitsap Mall.” The company was named the “Best Roofing Contractor” in the area by Westsound Home & Garden magazine, an honor which they have received often. They were also among the Top 20 in North America of the companies using CertainTeed materials. The company does commercial roofing, residential roofing, roof repair and maintenance, skylight installation and Duradek waterproof deck membranes. To find out more, go to www.hanleyroofing.com. Drop by the new showroom location at 250 Bethel Ave., or call 1-800-593-ROOF.

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Edible gardens are gaining in popularity By LESLIE KELLY


There’s nothing better than growing something to eat. Whether its berries, fruits, vegetables, herbs or even flowers, the choice to garden for food is a popular one. “I would emphasize the importance of knowing exactly what plant you’re eating,” said Gayle Larson of Dancing Raven Design. “The genus and species are essential.” For example, she said, while some chrysanthemums are edible, others are used to make the pyrethrins in pesticides. Larson is an edible-garden coach and designer in Kitsap County. Among the plants that she suggests for an edible garden is lavender. “There are specific lavenders that have been developed as edible,” she said. “Munstead is a tasty variety that does well here.” Borage is lovely and delicious, but “it does seed around very vigorously,” she said. Others edible are carnations that go by the name of caryophyllus and chinensis. “Calendula officinalis is a wonderful, self-seeding bright orange or yellow flower whose petals are slightly spicy and nice in salads,” Larson said. “(And they are) very easy to grow.” Common garden flowers that you can eat are: • Love-in-a-mist (Nigella spp.) • Primrose (Primula vulgaris) • Saffron Crocus (Crocus sativus) “This (Crocus sativus) blooms in late fall, unlike the crocuses coming up now,” she said. “Its stamens are that really expensive saffron we buy in tiny tins.” When considering fruits and vegetables, one that won’t work in the Pacific Northwest is lemons.


Blueberries are among the berry plants that gardeners like to grow. They grow well in the Pacific Northwest climate. Contributed photo “Nope, not here,” Larson said. “Only Meyer lemons and mostly indoors or a greenhouse.” When growing kale, remember that there’s more to the plant. than just the leaves. “Kale flowers are delicious and produced after the plant has gone through the winter,” she said. “The plants get quite large and the flower buds start to appear in late winter/early spring.” Kohrabi and brussels sprouts flowers (also in late winter/early spring) are also yummy, she added. “These would all be planted in late summer and left to overwinter,” she said. Larson pointed out that all peas have nice flowers and tendrils. Radish and aru-

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gula flowers are intensely flavored and the seed pods even more so. “They are great in salads,” she said. “Arugula in particular has a little drop of nectar along with the spiciness. The seeds of cilantro are called coriander.” Basil, sage, oregano, thyme and mint all have good flowers for eating as garnish or in salads, Larson said. Melons and cucumbers are in the same family as zucchini, but have very small flowers that don’t taste very good to Larson. “Squash and basil shouldn’t be planted in the garden until the soil is quite warm, probably not before mid-May at the earliest,” she said. She suggests the book, “The Maritime NW Garden Guide,” published by Seattle

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Tilth which is available at most full service nurseries and book stores. She also teaches a class on vegetable production at Edmonds Community College and uses it as the textbook for the course. “It’s paperback and less than $20. It has month-by-month topics and great charts on timing and specific crops. A good list of edible flowers, too.” Laura Pittman-Hewitt, owner of Amber Gardens, located south of Port Orchard, said an easy way for newcomers to grow edible gardens to begin is by growing greens. “This is an excellent place to grow greens,” she said. “And they don’t need that much care.” Anything that is a base for a salad can be considered, including lettuce, spinach and arugula. She also thinks herbs are great. “They are expensive at the store,” she said. “But if you grow your own you can grow a lot in a small space and dry them to use year-round.” Beginners also should visit their local nursery or farmers market. “Talk to the growers,” she said. “They’ll give you good advice.” Another hint for newcomers to edible gardens is to buy plant starts at local plant sales. “You’ll get the kinds of things that are good for our area,” she said. “And if you plant from seed, be sure to buy from local seed companies. They’ll have the seeds that work best for this area.” Her suggestions are Territorial or Uprising seed companies. Also, don’t forget that the Kitsap County Extension Service is here to help. You can find information at www.extension.wsu.edu/kitsap/.


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Flowers you can grow and put in your salad By LESLIE KELLY


Various flowers have been accenting world cuisines for thousands of years, dating back to the use of chrysanthemums by the ancient Chinese. With more than 100 types of garden flowers noted as edible, chances are you are already growing an edible flower or two. Imagine the visual appeal of lemonade laced with blue borage flowers, bicolor pansies scattered on a garden-fresh salad, or fiery red nasturtiums sprinkled over a simmering soup. If you’re thinking of planting flowers to use as accents to your culinary favorites, be sure to check them by their botanical name first. A great place to check is your local Master Gardeners group, or your county exertion service office. A couple of other things to consider: make sure not to use chemicals or pesticides in or around your edible garden. And if possible, try tasting what you plan to plant before planting it. Some flowers’ tastes will please you. Others won’t. And consume only the petals for the best flavors. Here are some first-rate edible flowers to consider planting: • BORAGE (Borago officinalis) Star-shaped blooms with eye-catching appeal in pink, violet or shades of blue. Subtle flavor slightly akin to cucumbers, though some note a grassy undertone. How to use: Show off their beauty by freezing the flowers into ice cubes and floating them in a beverage, or sprinkle over soups, salads or dips. Growing tip: This self-seeding annual tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and can be grown in full sun to light shade.

Growing edible flowers is something that gardeners like to try. The flowers can be used in salads and pastas. Contributed photo • CHRYSANTHEMUMS (Chrysanthemum morifolium, syn. C. x grandiflorum) All are slightly spicy to strongly pungent, so a little usually goes a long way. Edible note: As the “radicchios” of edible flowers, their petals kick up the flavor of salads, stir-fries, rice dishes and even burritos. Growing tip: This perennial thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. • DAYLILIES (Hemerocallis) Flavor profile varies from sweet and floral to vegetal or slightly metallic, depending on the variety. Always harvest the plumpest buds, just before they open. How to use: In Asian cuisine, salads, desserts, deep-fried, or sautéed with garlic and asparagus. Growing tip: Best in full sun or light shade in fairly moist, well-drained soil amended with organic matter. • LAVENDER (Lavandula)


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Blooms accentuate sweet and savory dishes with a sweet mingling of floral, fresh pine and rosemary with citrus notes. English lavender varieties (L. angustifolia) have the best culinary flavor. How to use: Its flavor complements a variety of foods -- from fish, poultry and most fruits and vegetables to sauces, marinades and dressings along with beverages, baked goods and desserts. Strip the flowers from the stalk before using. Growing tip: Best in full sun and welldrained soil. • NASTURTIUMS (Tropaeolum majus) Arguably the all-star of edible flowers, with a somewhat spicy, peppery tang similar to watercress. (Both leaves and blooms are edible.) Flower colors range from a moonlit yellow to bright yellow, orange, scarlet and red. How to use: Sprinkle flowers over salads, vegetables, pastas, stir-fries and meat dishes,

or blend with salsas, cream cheese or butter. Growing tip: This easy-to-grow, self-seeding annual thrives in most well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. • PANSIES, JOHNNY-JUMP-UPS and VIOLAS (Viola x wittrockiana, V. tricolor, V. cornuta) All are similar in taste, sporting a light, floral flavor that some say is suggestive of grape; others note wintergreen. How to use: Use the entire flower as a garnish for salads, hors d’oeuvres or decorating cakes. Growing tip: Most grow best in partial shade and moderately moist soil, though exposure and moisture needs vary by species. • PINKS (Dianthus) Delicate flavor with hint of cloves, though the taste can vary slightly among species. How to use: Spice up hot tea or cider, float the flowers in cream soups, sprinkle over fruit salads or bake into cookies. Growing tip: Best in full sun and fairly rich, well-drained soil, though exposure and moisture needs may vary by species. • ROSES (Rosa) All rose types vary greatly in flavor -- from full-bodied floral to pleasantly sweet and floral, to slightly metallic or even overtones of ginger – so it’s best to taste-test first. How to use: Use petals to flavor honey, beverages, a sorbet or fruit compote or make a classic rose-petal jam. Growing tip: Best in full sun to light shade and moderately moist, well-drained soil. • SCENTED GERANIUMS (Pelargonium) Diversity of scents from nutmeg or ginger to citrus, chocolate and peppermint. Bestflavored blooms come from rose-, peppermint- and lemon-scented varieties.

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MARCH 31, 2017


Vintage re-dos are popular home decor By LESLIE KELLY


By day, she’s left-brained. But at night and on the weekends, her right brain goes to work. That’s when you’ll see Michelle Servin working on repainting old dressers and crafting flower arrangements in Ball canning jars. The 30-year-old financial analyst is better known for her “real” job, where she uses her left brain at Lockheed Martin at Keyport Monday through Friday. Even she didn’t know she was creative and artistic until a few years ago. Servin is the owner of Steel Magnolias, a home furnishing store in downtown Port Orchard which opened six months ago. The shop carries vintage furniture that she’s added a creative touch to, and home decor items that she’s made by hand. “Growing up, my mom was very much into decorating,” Servin said. “And I had an aunt who arranged flowers. But it wasn’t until I re-did a table for a lady that I knew I was creative.” That was a few years ago when she was living in California. The owner of the table was so thrilled with it that she put a photograph of it on Instagram and Servin saw that other people liked it too. So she got a old dresser and painted it a cream and gray and added big crystallooking knobs. Then she decided to post it on Craigslist. “It sold in 30 minutes,” Servin said. “That’s when I knew that I wanted to have my own shop and keep doing this.” She still kept her full time work and a year ago she was transferred to Keyport. She looked around for a place to live and decided on Port Orchard. “I love small towns,” she said. “And Port Orchard is a small town with the feel of a small town. People here are not in a rush. It’s a slower pace of life.” Although she was raised in El Paso, Texas, and has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in business from the University of Texas, El Paso, and lived in the San Francisco Bay area, she’s happy in a town the size of Port Orchard. “In the city I never knew where I was going,” she said. “I’m not a ‘big city’ girl.” It was a couple of months after she moved to Port Orchard that she started looking for a place to open her shop. She had already decided on the name when she was home for the holidays the previous December.

Michelle Servin sells refurnished, repainted furniture at her store in Port Orchard. She also takes special orders. Leslie Kelly photo

Servin found an old dresser at a garage sale and repainted it in popular colors of beige and blue-gray, and then added gold trim. Leslie Kelly photo “I was thinking birds, then trees, then flowers,” she said. “I saw my sister had a magnolia tree in her yard and then I remembered the movie ‘Steel Magnolias.’ But I’d never seen the movie.” So she sat down and watched it. She saw herself in the movie. “It’s about southern belles,” she said. “I’m not really a southern belle. But it did take me back to my roots. After I saw the movie I was totally convinced it was the

right name.” Steel Magnolias is open on Saturdays from 12:30 - 5:30 p.m. and Sundays, from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. and on weekdays by appointment. Servin hopes to be able to add weekday hours and staff once the shop is better known. But there’s one thing that won’t change. “I will continue to do all the painting and creating,” she said. “That’s why I’m in


this.” She uses and sells the Kristi Kuekl Home chalk paint line. And while shabbychic is a term she doesn’t really like, vintage and antique is how she describes what she does. “Shabby chic is too trendy,” she said. “It makes people think it’s a fad. But painted furniture is here to stay.” She gets her furniture from people who no longer want the tables, dressers and cabinets. She also shops garage sales. What’s really in right now are dressers, she said. “Dressers are being used as buffets, TV entertainment cabinets, even changing tables for babies,” Servin said. “I’m doing a lot of dressers.” The hot color this season is cream, and blue with a hint of gray. “All very neutral colors,” she said. Since opening, she’s added a makeup station at the back of the business where she does makeup for clients. “They asked me to do that, and I have the knowledge, so I did,” she said. “It’s a quiet, private place where women can come to have a makeover.” Opening her own business has been harder than she thought it would be. “In school they teach you about corporate business,” she said. “They don’t teach small business. Some of the things I knew like budgeting and marketing — that helped me. But I didn’t know how involved this would be. You don’t want to start something and fail. “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” she said. She’s glad she chose the location on Bay Street. “Everyone’s been so great,” she said. “My neighbors (businesses next door) have helped me so much.” Other items in the store include candles, lamps, old trunks, painted step ladders and end tables. She’s added simple touches such as wallpapering the drawers in the dressers, painting a faux stack of books as a display item, and using old milk cans as a base for flower arrangements. She will take custom orders and will paint furniture that belongs to customers. And she plans to offer painting classes down the road. For more, stop by 810 Bay St., go to www.steelmagnoliadecor.com, or call 360471-5101.



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Home and Garden - Home and Garden - Spring 2017  


Home and Garden - Home and Garden - Spring 2017