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Homes & Gardens

March 14, 2013


2 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homes & Gardens

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Homes & Gardens

Homes & Gardens

A special section published by The Brunswick News 3011 Altama Avenue, Brunswick, GA 31520 Phone: (912) 265-8320, Fax: (912) 264-4973

President and Editor

Director of Cirulation

C.H. Leavy

Frank Lane

Vice President

Local News Editor

W. Ron Maulden

Hank Rowland

Managing Editor


Kerry Klumpe

Brittany Tate

Director of Advertising

Layout and Design

Health Slapikas

Donte Nunnally

March 14, 2013

ON THE COVER Tour of Home stop # 6 Stillwater, St. Simons Island Photo by Harlan Hambright


The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 3

Homes & Gardens

Loveseats offer many options for living spaces

Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News

Julie Willis, owner of Petite Maison in Redfern village on St. Simons Island, says something as simple as putting a drum lampshade on an old lamp can add a fresh look to your decor.

Springtime offers chance to refresh, renew home By BRITTANY TATE The Brunswick News

Spring is coming, and you know what that means: Time to brighten up your home (and spring clean). Just as we change our wardrobes from season to season, we should also change our homes to reflect the warmer, more cheerful weather. Luckily, there are simple and inexpensive ways to turn your home from drab to fab, keeping it fresh and new. Julie Willis, owner of Petite Maison on St. Simons Island, says a fresh coat of paint on the walls, some drum shades on your lamps and some new pillows can update your home’s look. She also says rearranging your furniture from time to time helps. “I find myself doing that often at home. My husband comes home from work and always says, ‘Wait! where did everything go?� Willis said. Moving furniture in or out of a room, creating groupings, like a rug, wall art and lamp in one area, making a great view or nice fireplace the focal point and incorporating items from other rooms can make your house appear more spatial and

can give your house that added boost of energy. This idea can be achieved by any person and it doesn’t take much to get started. Alex Ierubino, a designer at Taylor House Interiors on St. Simons Island, agrees. He says changing small things in your house can give it an instant lift. “Pull out the darker accessories and add brighter, lighter accessories to your room,� Ierubino said. However, Ierubino suggests that you stay within the color scheme of your home. On top of removing darker items and replacing them with brighter ones, he says adding throw pillows and rugs, plants, bright pots, and bric-a-brac can change the whole look of a room at little or no cost. “You can keep it going for a few years,� he said. If your color scheme is neutral, add a few of this season’s colors to give your house a little pop. However, don’t take down all of the neutral colors. These can make everything else in your house look more vivid and eye-catching. Though spring calls for bright, neon-ish colors, black is still a choice to keep around the house, and classic accessories in black are great year ’round.

When purchasing furniture for a living room or family room, many consumers think they have to have a sofa “set� or the pieces displayed at a nearby furniture store. But oftentimes these pieces of furniture do not fit well in everyone’s home, particularly if rooms are on the small side. Homeowners or renters can think outside the box when creating a furniture placement layout for their homes. For those furnishing a small space or an oddly shaped room, think about experimenting with different pieces of furniture, even skipping the sofa altogether. There’s no rule that says living room must have a couch, nor that all living rooms have to look the same. Using only a loveseat or a few comfortable chairs can work better for some room dimensions than the traditional couch, loveseat and chair combination. Loveseats make cozy places in which to curl up with a good book or snuggle with a loved one. Individuals who are tight on space, especially those who live in apartments, may find that the size of a loveseat is a perfect fit in the room. Adding a separate

chair provides a little extra seating space as well. When a room’s layout can’t accommodate a larger sofa, consider flanking a coffee table with two loveseats, a layout that’s typically conducive to conversation. Loveseats enable homeowners to arrange furniture in plenty of conversation-friendly configurations. When two loveseats are paired with a arm chair in a room, up to five people can be seated comfortably. Loveseats are also ideal pieces of furniture in a bedroom or home office. They can be used to create a cozy nook for watching television or reading a book. Instead of a glider in a baby’s nursery, place a plush loveseat that will make those 2 a.m. feedings more comfortable, allowing Mom and baby to stretch out. A loveseat also gives parents a place to recline and sleep if they want to be close to the child throughout the night. In a home office, a loveseat can be a spot to sit and relax during a break from work. It also helps the room appear more lived-in and less of a utilitarian work space.

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The Designer Consignor

Liz Slapikas, Proprietor






4 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homes & Gardens

Noise reduction can make home peaceful Noise in a home is a problem that can affect just about anyone. Noise can occur inside or be the product of noisy situations outside of the home. Eventually these sounds can try a homeowner’s patience, but there are various ways to cope with noise. Reduce the human scope of noise One of the first steps to take is reducing the amount of noise generated by people inside of the house. If video games are noisy, encourage children to wear headphones so the entire household is not subjected to the sounds of the game. Set limits on the volume of the television and try to keep only one set on at a given time in the house, particularly if televisions are located in rooms where doors cannot be closed to block the sound. People can also lower their speaking voices inside of the house. Use sound-dampening furnishings There are many benefits to having hardwood flooring throughout a home, including its beauty. But hardwood flooring could reflect

sound waves and cause them to echo around the house. Area rugs will do some to muffle the sound, but carpeting is a good method of sound insulation. The carpeting and the padding underneath will absorb sounds, including footfalls on floors above. Hanging pictures on the wall and using drapery on windows also can absorb sound and prevent it from bouncing off of bare walls. Change windows If sounds are coming from outside, it might be worth the investment to upgrade windows, although this can prove costly. Many homeowners with outdoor noise issues install triple-paned windows, which reduce sound and also provide significant energy savings. Changing the window frames is another option. Metal frames will transmit sound better than wood, fiberglass or vinyl. Install door sweeps A door sweep is not only effective at preventing drafts, but sweeps can prevent sounds from coming out as well.

Enjoy The Pleasure Of Gardening This Spring At 2807 Demere Road St. Simons Island


How to select a customized hardwood floor in 4 easy steps


Color scheme

Are you looking for something light or dark? Understated or with bold character? Choose the color that best matches your decor from a wide variety of colors available in each species. For uniform hue and a clean look, opt for either “Select & Better” or “Premium” grades. If you enjoy more pronounced color variation and wood with more character, you may prefer “Antique” or “Classic” grades.


From Red Oak, Hard Maple, Yellow Birch, White Ash, White Oak or Brazilian Cherry, each wood species has its own personality and distinct look (grades and width) that comes across in its maturity, hardness, and durability.




Depending on the species, you can choose between a matte, semigloss and satin finish. A matte, semi-gloss finish tends to project a more formal atmosphere; whereas the natural look of a satin finish will feel more casual and better disguise wear and tear.

8am - 5:30pm Mon-Fri 8am -5pm Sat • 12-4pm Sun

Widths and textures

Wider planks, which are becoming increasingly popular, tend to create a more casual rustic appearance, while narrow planks are more formal. This is part of the emerging trend of the last few years where consumers are seeking more rustic looks for their hardwood flooring choices. Along with wider boards, another way this is achieved is with the latest use of different textures to give wood either a distressed look of barn wood, prominent knots or the natural lines of boards planed the old fashioned way.



The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 5


6 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013


Homes & Gardens






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Bold paint can add new look to a room Paint is one of the least expensive and most versatile means to changing the look of a room. According to the experts from “This Old House,� 60 percent of the colors of a home that visitors perceive come from the paint on the walls. Choosing a color scheme can be challenging, which is why so many people stick with neutrals like beige and white. For those who are ready to add a spark of color, there are a few guidelines to consider. Color theory is a science and there are rules of using color that are taught as early as a child’s first foray into art class. We know there are primary, secondary and complementary colors on the color wheel. Even novice home decorators can do well with color if they use the color wheel as their guideline. According to HGTV, color should flow throughout a house. Every room need not be painted the same color. However, colors should be complementary enough that they flow into one another. Don’t paint one room in child’s basic primary colors, while painting other rooms in jewel tones and pastels. Stick with one theme and carry it through the house. Once you have decided to use a bold color, first find your color inspiration. Color combinations that appear in nature are more readily accepted by people, so look for an item in nature, such as a seashell or a flowering plant that you can base your color choices on. Others pull inspiration from a particular design item. For instance, maybe an area rug strikes your fancy. Use colors that appear in the rug in the room. Keep in mind that using bold color doesn’t

mean you have to paint every wall from ceiling to floor in that color. Rather, if you’re just starting out with bold colors, select one wall to serve as an accent wall. Use that wall as your bold canvas and paint it with your chosen hue. Some people like to experiment with a more flashy color in a smaller space. If you’re nervous about beginning in the living room or kitchen, how about trying out bold color in a smaller space, such as a powder room? A more intimate space might seem less overwhelming when painted in a bold color. Go for a deep purple or another jeweled tone. However, try to avoid greens in the bathroom, as they may reflect off of the mirror and cast a hue onto your face that makes you look unwell. Pinks and peaches will shed a rosy glow. If you will be incorporating complementary colors into the room, use the paint color swatch as your guide. Most paint manufacturers use three or four different shades on one sample card. When selecting a complementary shade, be sure to pick from the same tone on the card. That means if you’re choosing the darkest of color No. 1 from a card, you’ll want to choose the darkest from color No. 2. Another idea is to leave walls neutral and use bold color on design accents. For example, designers at recommend painting the inside of niches, shelves or cabinets with glass doors in bright tones and the outside white to create an eyecatching space without going overboard. Put a bold color on moulding or use an appliance or a fixture in a bright color as your splash of boldness.

The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 7

Homes & Gardens

Pros and cons of open floor plans


pen floor plans have evolved to be the floor plan of choice in new homes and current home renovations. Turn on a home renovation show, and you’re likely to see eager homeowners knocking down walls to open the kitchen to the family room. Walls have become anathema to homeowners. There are many supporters of the open floor plan, particularly those who entertain frequently or like to keep an eye on children throughout the house. Although open floor plans are touted, there are plenty of people who have never been enamored with having all of their rooms flowing into one. There also are some people who prefer a different style. For those who are not fans of the open floor plan, blame the excess of the 1980s for their inception. In homes built in the 1960s and 1970s, rooms were compartmentalized and isolated for specific activities. During the 1980s, an era of “bigger is better,” when entertaining was widely popular among homeowners, designers noticed that many homeowners preferred an open floor plan in which rooms merged into one another, creating the illusion of more space. These floor plans also enable people to be in separate rooms and still interact with one another across the space. A home’s floor plan largely depends on the preference of the homeowner. There are many advantages to having an open floor plan versus one that is more compartmentalized. Here is a look at some of the pros and cons. Pro: Open floor plans can be safer for parents of young children. If the home opens up with the living spaces branching off from the kitchen, parents can keep an eye on children while the parents prepare dinner. It also eliminates the number of places that kids can hide and get into

mischief. Con: Privacy is reduced in a home with few walls. Much in the way that an open floor plan enables children to be seen from every angle, it also enables you to be seen -- and all of your belongings as well. There’s also no place to retreat to if you need a minute to collect yourself when entertaining. You’re on display unless you retreat to the bathroom. Pro: Entertaining can be easier in a home with an open floor plan because hosts and hostesses are not separated from their guests or holed up in the kitchen the entire time. An open space enables everyone to mingle and conversations to flow. Con: Those who like to host events

Renovating bathrooms is commonly at the top of home improvement to-do lists. Though some rooms around the house may remain timeless, bathrooms, like kitchens, show their age (and era) much more easily, which could be why homeowners are always on the lookout for new ideas. Although many people may dream about creating a spa-type oasis in their homes, not everyone is lucky enough to have a large bathroom, much less a large budget for a full-scale renovation. Small bathrooms are common, particularly in older homes, but they needn’t force homeowners

to compromise on style when renovating. Small bathrooms may be a half-bath on a main home level or even a full bath, depending on the home. By thinking creatively, homeowners can maximize their spaces and redo bathrooms in ways that bring out their best assets. When space is at a premium, it’s best to look for fixtures and items that fit with the scale of the bathroom. Although you may want a large vanity and cabinet in which to hide all of your toiletries, this simply may not be practical -- taking up most of the bathroom real estate. Instead,

without showing guests all of their dirty dishes or secrets of the kitchen may dislike an open floor plan. Pro: Light can flow effectively through an open space, minimizing dark rooms and reducing the need to install more windows. Light in and of itself can help a home feel more spacious. Con: While light can flow easily, so can sound. Noises through the house may be amplified. A student doing homework in the dining room may be disturbed by the television blaring in the family room. Talking on the phone or even finding a quiet nook to read a book may be challenging. Pro: Open floor plans allow for more

family time together in one space than a home with a more compartmentalized layout. Con: People who are collectors or who have a lot of furniture or accent items may find that open floor plans do not work well with this type of design mantra. Pro: Because several rooms run into one another, color choices for walls and furnishings in a home with an open floor plan can be limited and cohesive, making choices easier. Con: On the flip side, those who want to incorporate different color schemes and eclectic styles may have difficulty deciding on where to “end” rooms or how to co-mingle furniture.

Make the most of small bathrooms in home look for elegant pedestal sinks that have a much smaller profile. They’ll also help you control the clutter in the bathroom because there won’t be anywhere to hide it. Use optical illusions to make the bathroom appear more roomy. For example, lay tile diagonally to create the impression of space. A large mirror will reflect the room back and make it appear much larger than it really is. Select lighter hues in paint colors and accessories. Dark paints and fixtures could make the room feel cramped. Dark colors are generally used to make spaces feel

more cozy. In a small bathroom, it may make the space feel claustrophobic. Instead, think light and bright and the room will instantly feel more airy. Minimize wall hangings and keep fixtures smaller. Filling the walls with knickknacks may contribute to clutter and make the space appear closed in. Use decorative items sparingly. If possible, store towels in a closet outside of the bathroom. This way you won’t have to devote space inside the bathroom to a closet, leaving more room for other things.


8 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homes & Gardens

Home offices in tight spaces


home office is a necessity for many adults these days. While some people have entire rooms available to house a home office, others have to make do with less space, and that can mean fitting an office into a tight space. The first step in establishing a small home office is figuring out the space you have and any limitations that may accompany it. For example, maybe you have an unused corner in the living room but don’t want to have wires and equipment out in the open. An armoire-type desk that can be closed when not in use is a viable option in such a situation. Perhaps there is an unused closet in a bedroom. A wall-mounted desk surface, such as a piece of custom-cut countertop material, complete with foldaway mouse and keyboard tray can easily turn the space into a compact nook. Maybe there is an entryway with a small table that would be large enough for a laptop. A stool or ottoman that can be tucked under it can serve as a desk chair and extra seating for company

What to look for in outdoor furniture

• Seals tight on all smooth rims: stainless steel, glass, plastic • Prevents spills: The lily pad creates an air tight, water tight seal • Saves on plastic wrap: Can be reused, reused, reused • Creates smiles • Oven safe • Microwave safe • Freezer safe • Dishwasher safe



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Outdoor entertaining areas have always been popular among homeowners. The ability to entertain friends and family or simply relax by yourself is something homeowners cherish, particularly during the warm weather seasons. Finding the right furniture to match your outdoor area, be it a deck, patio or poolside lounging area, is essential to making the most of this special area of the home. When shopping for outdoor furniture, consider the following. Weight Unlike furniture inside the home, outdoor furniture will be moved around quite frequently, such as to protect it from inclement weather or changing seasons. As a result, the weight of the furniture bears importance. While you don’t want furniture that’s too lightweight and will blow away any time a strong gust of wind comes along, it’s a good idea to choose furniture that isn’t too heavy. This makes it easier to move should a storm suddenly appear and it won’t require the entire household to help move the furniture into and out of the garage when inclement weather arrives. Comfort The whole idea behind an outdoor entertaining area is to have a relaxing place to spend time outside. So be sure to choose furniture that’s comfortable and can handle the elements. Metal furniture, for example,

might be durable, but such furniture can also get very hot if out in the sun. Versatility Many homeowners enjoy changing their home’s interior decor from time to time, and it can be just as enjoyable to do the same to a home’s exterior decor. That said, look for furniture that can be accented with a variety of accessories, so you can change the look of your outdoor entertaining area easily. Protection Protecting exterior furniture from the elements should be a priority. When shopping for outdoor furniture, figure out if protective covering is available or if it will need to be custom made.



The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 9

Homes & Gardens

Take steps to organize garage


arages are coveted by homeowners across the country, offering a space to park a car and protect it from the elements. But many people do not park a car in their garage, only to find the garage become a home to clutter. Garages tend to become the official catch-all of a home. When an item cannot be crammed into a hiding space elsewhere, it often ends up dumped into the garage, where it joins the long list of other abandoned items. It can be easy to let garages become a wasteland because everything put inside a garage is behind a closed door. That mess can quickly build up, and reclaiming your garage requires energy, time, organization, and a plan. Organizing a garage will take some time. An entire weekend or two consecutive days may be necessary depending on the level of disarray. Taking everything out of the garage and going through the sorting

process may take the most time. When sorting, separate any broken items, which can immediately be put at the curb for trash pick-up. Examine things that you have not used in some time. If you haven’t missed it, there’s a good chance that you can discard the item or donate it. Create separate piles for donations and trash.

Let Us Design Your Outdoor Space.

Move the items that will be kept into a separate pile. After all of the trash and donations are removed from the premises, then you can look at what is remaining and begin planning out a more organized storage system. There may be things in the “keep” pile that are simply out of place in the garage

and may be better stored elsewhere. Think about which items can be moved to a basement or attic because of their infrequency of use, such as holiday decorations, suitcases, and collectibles. You may prefer to move lawn and garden items out of the garage and into a shed in the backyard. After completing the sorting process, look at the garage as a blank space and measure out the room that you have. This will provide an empty canvas as a starting off point. To maximize the amount of space you have as a work area or a place to park your car, invest in as many tools as possible to utilize vertical space. Shelving, hooks and cabinetry will take things off of the floor, while storage units with doors can hide items that lack aesthetic appeal. Rolling tool caddies and cabinets can keep all tools neat and in organized drawers so you’re never hunting and pecking for a tool again. A cabinet that has a lock and key can be utilized for dangerous chemicals that need to be kept out of the hands of children and away from pets. Think about how the garage will appear from the curb when the door is raised and create a design that will be functional and neat. Take the opportunity while the garage is empty to give walls and floors a fresh coat of paint and improve the lighting in the garage. A brighter garage makes for a better work station.



Pierce & Parker INTERIORS




Pierce & Parker INTERIORS

10 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homes & Gardens

Right at Home: Spring prints have artsy vibe By KIM COOK

Associated Press

Visiting this spring’s dicor previews often felt like exploring an art gallery. There was an artistic vibe to everything from dinnerware to drapery, art photographs to textiles. Manufacturers are now able to reproduce artwork with impressive detail and precision. Originals that may have been painted or inked retain evidence of brush and pen. Computer-generated designs have greater depth of color and pattern than in the past. And photo prints are even more striking. Zara Home has a bouquet of lovely throw pillows for spring with vintage prints or botanical ones reminiscent of paintings by the Masters. “Mariposa” features a flock of Edouard Travies-esque exotic butterflies on a white background; “Lula” evokes a Renoir still life; “Spring” has a sweet cottage floral; “Lannion,” “Hawaiana” and “Hojas”’ tropical motifs have a retro vibe. (www. ) A spring walk through the Chicago Botanic Garden inspired artist Matthew Lew to create an exuberant burst of white and tan blooms on a bright orange background, rendered at CB2 on a hand-tufted rug. The retailer’s got another modern rug featuring a graphic brush stroke of linen white on tonal carbon gray. And artist Katherine Finn-Gamino’s colorful multi-media geometric pillow is abstract art for the sofa. (Botanical rug, Swoosh rug, pillow, www. ) Watercolor paintings of many popu-


This publicity image provided by Pottery Barn shows Sky Bird embroidered pillow covers from Pottery Barn. Visiting this spring’s decor previews often felt like exploring an art gallery. There was an artistic vibe in everything from dinnerware to drapery, art photographs to textiles.

lar dog breeds, including Labs, golden retrievers and little terriers, are available from Pottery Barn on linen throw pillows with personalized monograms. The needle

arts are showcased here, as well, on linen lampshades stitched with tonal ikat or floral motifs, and a pillow depicting a vintage bird postcard in finely-detailed embroidery.

and attack any errant spots on the stove and floor, which will become sticky and attract more dirt. Fold or hang dish towels in a way that camouflages any stains. Place a small pan of water on the stove with some nutmeg and cinnamon and bring to a simmer. This will disguise any smells lingering from last night’s dinner. Take down magnets and notes stuck to the refrigerator and temporarily place them in a zipper-seal bag. Use a static-charged sweeper sheet to grab any hairs, dust or pet fur from the floor.

Fluff the pillows to clear out dust. Use a handheld vacuum to clean up any crumbs or dirt on tables or in the sofa cushions. Wipe down coffee tables with a damp cloth to clear away dust and fingerprints. Wet the fingertips of rubber gloves and glide your hand over upholstery to rid furniture of pet hair. Keep a basket handy to neatly store newspaper, magazines or books. Gather and remove the most obvious clutter and relocate it elsewhere less noticeable. Dim the lights and light candles. It’s harder to spot dirt in a dim room.

Photographic art is an excellent way to bring a creative or unusual element to your room. Pottery Barn continues to expand its wall-art series this spring with a coterie of photo artists who have made intriguing works at a price point not easily matched in the market for great photography. California photographer Lupen Grainne creates imagery that combines a pensive Instagram quality with professional composition. She captures dreamy San Francisco street scenes and beautiful fruit or fork still lifes that draw you in. San Franciscobased Ana Ramirez’ shell photographs in stark black and white highlight the sculptural beauty of nature. And Prague-born photographer Michal Venera’s expressive black-and-white Tanzanian animal prints depict the textural grace and beauty of the natural world. You’ll also find some amazing work from pro photogs Cindy Taylor and Rebecca Plotnick. ( ) At Crate & Barrel, there’s the Monet-like watercolor floral of the “Myrtle” pillow, while the dramatic “Landscape” pillow, featuring a winding road through wild countryside, brings Turner to mind. (www. ) Bird’s eggs writ large — in fact, 32-inchsquare large — are the powerful focal point of a series of wall art at Wisteria this spring. The eggs themselves are softly hued, but the scale of the photographic imagery is so remarkable that one or more would be a central feature in any room. (www.wisteria. com )

Easy way to clean up home in a snap

It’s the season for spring cleaning, and homeowners no doubt have a slew of projects on tap in the weeks to come. Clothes will be sorted and donated and unnecessary items thrown in the trash. Sometimes, however, there’s little time for a thorough cleaning, so a quick tidying up is done when guests are coming to visit. There are many ways to tackle the clutter and get a home presentable in no time at all. When you’re short on time, consider these ways to give living spaces the appearance of cleanliness.

Kitchen Assess the kitchen sink and move all the dishes awaiting washing into the dishwasher. Wipe down the inside of the sink with a disinfecting wipe or a clean sponge. Wipe down the countertops quickly with a wipe or sponge. Wet a paper towel or rag

Living Room Go to the sofa and turn the pillows to the side that is not often facing outward. Consider this the “company side” that may not have any stains or mars in the fabric.

Bathroom A premoistened wipe can quickly clean the sink and counters from dried-on contact solution or toothpaste.

The same wipe can be used to rid the mirror of errant spots of splatter. Use the same cloth to wipe down the toilet seat and the rim underneath. Use the toilet brush to scrub inside the bowl to remove any rings. Put new hand towels on racks or on the counter. Glide a lint roller over the bath mat to remove hair and fuzz. Bedroom If the children’s rooms are messes, close the doors and make those rooms off-limits. Make your bed and fluff the pillows. Take dirty clothes to the hamper and put away anything left out. If desperate, pile it into the closet to attend to later. Neaten the night stands next to the bed, removing personal effects or storing it in the drawers.


Tour of Homes 60th Annual Tour of Homes Christ Church Frederica

Tour of Homes Essentials for Tour Overview Getting to the homes

Beginning with the first tour in 1954, the Episcopal Church Women of Christ Church Frederica have given visitors the opportunity to view and enjoy some of the most beautiful homes on both St. Simons Island and Sea Island. This annual project benefits local charities that assist women and children in need. Last year’s tour raised more than $60,000, and all of these proceeds were distributed to a number of local non-profit organizations. The Tour of Homes is scheduled for Saturday, March 16th from 10 am to 5 pm. Seven private homes are included in the 60th annual event with three on Sea Island. St. Simons Island homes are located in East Beach, Stillwater, Black Banks and The Enclave. Historical tour stops include Musgrove Plantation, Christ Church Frederica, Wesley Gardens and St. Ignatius Church. Musgrove Plantation, with its beautiful art collection and archaeological treasures, is the private retreat of the R.J. Reynolds heirs and has been included on the tour for each of the 60 years.

Homes on Sea Island can be visited only by shuttle buses, that will depart continually from Gascoigne Bluff. Each bus will be staffed by a volunteer docent with information about the history of St. Simons Island. Tickets contain wristbands that give the timeframe for bus departures. Homes on St. Simons Island may be visited at any time during the Tour.


Light snack items will be available for purchase at the transportation hub at Gascoigne Bluff.

Ticket prices are$40 in advance and $45 on the day of tour. They may be purchase at the following locations: In Brunswick Antiques, Etc. Ned Cash Jewelers Pat’s Hallmark On Jekyll Island Jekyll Island Realty

Inside the homes

Please wear flat, comfortable walking shoes. High heeled shoes, cameras, large shopping bags and drinks will not be permitted in the homes. There is a short walk between each bus stop or parking area and the tour stop. Most tour stops require going up/down stairs.


Who benefits

100 percent of the proceeds are donated to area charities that benefit women and children in need; 2012 Donations – more than $60,000

St. Simons Island Christ Church Frederica Cloister Collection Glynn Art Association Left Bank Art Gallery Maggie’s Mimi’s Moncrief’s Pat’s Hallmark Roberta’s St. Simons Drugs The Tabby House Online Tickets can also be purchase online at:


12 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tour of Homes Tour Stop 1

St. Ignatius Church, St. Simons Island St. Ignatius Church was built in 1886 for the former slaves on St. Simons Island. It was rebuilt in 1898 after destruction by a hurricane and was rotated 90 degrees on the current site at that time. The church was built with heart of pine and oak. The wood has never been stained, but its appearance has changed due to the process of aging. The Altar rail is hand-carved. The Lectern, Bishop’s chair, Priest’s chair, and Baptismal font were all donated by Lovely Lane Chapel. The stained glass windows behind the Altar were made in Philadelphia by the Willet Company. The candlesticks on the Altar were brought from England in 1858. The bell was installed in the 1980’s and is from the WWII Liberty Ship Henry Wynkoop. The reed organ was built circa 1900 and installed at Christ Church, Frederica in 1933. The original hand pump is still intact and the pipes are merely decorative.

Tour Stop 2

East Beach, St. Simons Island This custom built contemporary home is a celebration of family history. Designed and built approximately five years ago, the home is just a few blocks off the ocean in East Beach. It features three stories plus a rooftop patio with view of the ocean. The home is constructed of concrete and steel with commercial grade fixtures and appliances. The family’s interests are reflected throughout. You will see their love of all things aviation reflected in the airplanes that decorate the central stairway. There are also family artifacts throughout the home, including an antique radio from the family’s radio business.

Tour Stop 3

Sea Palms West, St. Simons Island Designed by Robert Ussery, this home is situated on the banks of Dunbar Creek and the layout provides for fabulous outdoor living and entertaining. As soon as you walk in the front door you will see the beautiful view of the river as well as the Intracoastal waterway just a bit beyond. This home allows its owners to take full advantage of the spectacular location on deep water with frequent family gatherings and outdoor entertaining. Every room that is used frequently is oriented to the western view and the river. Of note is the beautiful painting of Christ Church by local artist Barbara Mueller which holds a treasured spot over the cooktop in the kitchen. Photography of Tour of Homes by Harlan Hambright

Tour Stop 4

Musgrove Plantation, St. Simons Island Musgrove Plantation was built in the 1930’s by Nancy Reynolds Bagley, daughter of tobacco titan R.J. Reynolds. Musgrove was named after Mary Musgrove, born Cousaponakeesa, who was half Creek Indian and acclaimed as the Pocahontas and Sacagawea of the South. Mary Musgrove acted as cultural liaison between colonial Georgia and her Native American community dating back to the early 18th century. Musgrove Plantation boasts nearly 1,000 acres of primarily preserved natural splendor, including 400 acres of marshland between Brunswick and St. Simons Island. The six residences were designed in the old “Low-Country” style. Heavy use of tabby and cypress along with old Savannah gray brick emphasize the under-stated rustic elegance of the property. Musgrove’s primary use is for conferences on a variety of cultural and political topics. The conferences began when President Jimmy Carter, upon election to office, assembled his first full Cabinet meeting at Musgrove. To date, this is the only time a complete cabinet meeting has ever been convened outside of Washington, D.C.

s. a-


The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 13

Tour of Homes Tour Stop 5

Christ Church, Frederica – Tour Headquarters & Wesley Memorial Gardens, St. Simons Island Christ Church had its beginning when General Oglethorpe came to St. Simons Island in 1736 to build the fort and town of Frederica. He brought with the soldiers and settlers, an ordained clergyman of the Church of England, the Reverend Charles Wesley, in order that the colony might have the services of the church from its start. The Board of Trustees ordered a chapel to be built and had three hundred acres of land set aside for the support of the minister and the church. It is on some of that land that Christ Church stands today. In 1884, the remains of the old church were torn down, and the present building was erected on this site in 1886 by the Reverend Anson Green Phelps Dodge, Jr., in memory of his first wife, Ellen Ada Phelps Dodge. Sunday services are held at Christ Church, Frederica, at 8 am, 9:15 am, and 11:15 am. Weekday evening prayer is held at 5:00 pm daily and Holy Eucharist is celebrated at 11:30 am on Friday.

Wesley Memorial Gardens Established in 1986 to commemorate the ministries of John and Charles Wesley, the Wesley Memorial Gardens offer a calm retreat on Tour Day. Dedicated in 1988, the two acre garden has as its focal point an 18-foot high Celtic Cross, sculpted from Georgia granite. Gravel paths wind throughout the natural setting, which has been impeccably landscaped to showcase some 60 varieties of 4,000 azaleas and other native shrubs.



Tour Stop 6

Stillwater, St. Simons Island This modern home is made of tabby and is perfectly designed for its beautiful lake front setting. The front doors are from Indonesia and are particularly spectacular. The living room and kitchen look out to the back porch and a beautiful view of the pool and lake. Interior designer Valarie Zeh pulled together a casual, eclectic interior, perfectly designed for the family who needs a warm, cozy setting to relax and entertain.

Tour Stop 7

Black Banks St. Simons Island Steeped in the history of St. Simons, Black Banks Plantation was first owned by John Perkins in the mid-1700’s. The current home, designed by Abreu & Robeson in 1942, is situated overlooking the Black Banks River with a stunning view of the marshes. Surrounded by magnificent oaks and spectacular native plantings on the five-acre grounds, the estate also features an English garden with lovely fountains and a secluded tree house. Remodeled in 2004, the home was furnished throughout with carefully selected antique furniture and light fixtures, custom draperies and upholstery enhanced with imported trim, and the owner’s extensive art collection.

The people of the tour

of he


o as Tour Chair, Dana Parker and Co-Chair, Avery Brooks

Committee chairs are Bobby Rice, from left, Malcolm Kitchens, Catherine Holt, Sharon Flores, Dianne Abernathy, Penny Jones, Clif Jones and Steve Holt.

Committee chairs are Bess Thompson, from left, Susan Imhoff, Lynne Nazzaro, Cathy Foster, Bob Brown and Sandy Rice.


14 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tour of Homes

Tour Stop 8

East 17th Street, Sea Island This superbly decorated cottage has just undergone a complete renovation. This home is separated from the beach by one house, and is an easy one-mile walk to the Beach Club and Cloister. The Great Room, decorated in soothing sea tones, is the perfect setting for gracious gatherings and dinners. The master suite offers a secluded retreat, with two French doors opening to balconies overlooking the pool and spa with a waterfall. This tour stop is as charming on the outside as it is on the inside and you will love this storybook home from start to finish.

Tour Stop 9

East 24th Street Sea Island This magnificent oceanfront cottage is called “Marbello”, a name taken from the spectacular Mediterranean town on Spain’s famous Costa del Sol. It’s located just steps from the Atlantic Ocean and is stunning in both location and detail. Expansive ocean views from every angle greet you as you enter. The outdoor spaces are simply spectacular. The lawn is oversized and features a large pool overlooking the ocean. It’s no wonder this home was used for the filming of a television show last year. You will enjoy it from start to finish.

Tour Stop 10

West 23rd Street Sea Island Above all, this is a family home made to be lived in. Built and furnished by the homeowners three years ago, the house is centered around the needs of a busy multi-generational family. The result is a comfortable residence built with both new and antique materials blended in a Mediterraneaninspired flair. The foyer welcomes you with a view across well-appointed living and dining room areas to the lush backyard and pool. The entertaining rooms are full of beautiful and interesting furnishings as well as art collected on the family’s many travels. Outside areas are also focused on entertainment and feature a pool with a vessel fountain and separate guest quarters over the detached garage.


The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 15

Homes & Gardens

Plan offers plenty of space I

f the first impression is what counts the most, this home features 2,808 square feet on two levels. Soaring entertaining spaces make it seem larger than it is. The two-story entryway and double doors to the foyer lead inside, where the view extends straight back through the living room to the rear lanai. Formal living areas grab your attention both here and in the semi-enclosed dining room. The family room, complete with a fireplace, features open access to the kitchen

and breakfast nook. There’s seating for three at the angled island. The nearby “recipe corner” includes a built-in desk - the perfect place to charge your phone or tablet. On the left side of the plan, the master suite opens to a private lanai with room for a hot tub. Other amenities in this luxurious haven include a whirlpool bath, separate shower and walk-in closet. Nearby, the den could easily double as a nursery or craft room. Two bedrooms, a full bath and a loft are located upstairs.

HOME PLAN DETAILS: Bedrooms: 3+ Baths: 2 full, 1 half Upper floor: 671 sq. ft. Main floor: 2,137 sq. ft. Total Living Area: 2,808 sq. ft. Garage: 620 sq. ft. Dimensions: 75-6 x 62-6 Exterior Wall Framing: 2x6 Foundation Options: Slab

How to order a copy of this House plan

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Contact Marie Hufstetler at FHA loans! Over 30 YearsNMLS Experience#696114 with Conv, VA and NMLS #696114. or 912.638.0809 to (912) 638-0809 - see how we can help.

A downloadable study plan of this house (plan HMAFAPW00734,) includCheck with your mortgage professional for current loan amounts and product ing general information on building costs and financing, is available atyour mortgage professional Check with for current loan amounts and product guidelines and restrictions. This is not guidelines and restrictions. This is not an offer to lend. Community Bank of an offer to lend. Community Bank of Georgia, 700 West Parker Street, Baxley GA 31513. NMLS # 443047 Be sure to reference the plan number. Georgia, 700 West Parker Street, Baxley GA 31513. NMLS # 443047


16 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homes & Gardens

Gardeners find timing key to planting flower beds By BRITTANY TATE The Brunswick News

Nick Nichols/The Brunswick News

Sandra Johenek looks at petunias.

Choosing the right time to plant your flowers and shrubs for spring is equally as important as choosing plants that can thrive in the area, especially for first-time and seasoned gardeners who are experiencing the unpredictable weather exhibited in Glynn County. Sandra Johanek, vice president of Live Oaks Garden Club, says the best time to start putting down roots would be late March, early April. As for flowers that reflect spring – bright, colorful and blooming – Johanek suggests choosing flowers that are hardy, can spread nicely and require little to no maintenance, such as Super and Wave Petunias. “Super Petunias (or Supertunias) work really well. They are almost fool-proof and you can get them from any nursery. You just want to make sure they’re not root-bound,”

Johanek said. “Wave Petunias (on the other hand) spread nicely for a colorful border.” These varieties of the petunia produce fragrant blooms from spring until winter’s frost and make great additions to flower beds, borders and containers. Sprucing up gardens with annuals and perennials, like angelonia, are good. Angelonia, in fact, is heat- and drought-tolerant and has scented foliage. It requires lowmaintenance, has an extended bloom period, and deadheading is not necessary. Johanek says Blue Waves (or Blue Wave lacecap hydrangea), Knock Out roses, different varieties of coleus, Dusty Miller flowers, pentas, impatients, calibrachoa would be some ideal choices for spring as well. They are hardy, long-lasting flowers that can be enjoyed in shrub borders or as a background planting for colorful perennials. “If you plant (Knock Out roses) in the Continues on page 17


Reese K. Haley, B.S. Horticulture

Like us at landscapesolutionsga • 912.268.4490 • 131 Newman Drive Brunswick, GA 31520


The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 17

Homes & Gardens Continued from page 16

back of the border, you’ll have color at the end of summer through most of fall,� she said. However, if gardening is too much of a chore or is harsh on your joints, Johanek says container gardening is great. “It doesn’t take a lot, and it’s great for really pretty small shrubs,� she said. “I start with a color palette and find annuals that are good for the pot they’ll be planted in.� Johanek suggests gardeners walk through garden supply stores and look at the plants they know and to try something new every year. Sandy Bonilla, president of Hamilton Plantation Garden Club, believes now is the

best time to start planting some flowers. She says considering wildlife in your choices is a smart decision. “Choosing hardier plants that take less care are good, and the birds, bees and butterflies prefer them,� Bonilla said. For those seeking out colorful additions, WE TAKE Bonilla suggests plumbago, hydrangeas, lantana, and jasmine will probably be the GREAT best way to go. However, she says native plants, likeIN holly, PRIDE wax myrtle and muhly grass, aren’t as colorALL ful, but are great for getting rid of THE invasive species, reducing water use, fertilizers and WORK THAT lawn mowers. Bonilla says it’s a matterWE of yourDO! own personal preference but wildlife will like it if you work with them, too.

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Knock Out roses

Compost can benefit gardens Composting may be a person’s first foray into an eco-friendly lifestyle. Compost is a nutrient-rich natural fertilizer that some people refer to as “black gold.� It can be made from most types of lawn and garden waste as well as some discarded items from the kitchen. Many people have renewed interest in composting because they understand the environmental ramifications of over-reliance on chemical fertilizers. Ground water may become contaminated and certain fertilizers may have adverse effects on wildlife. Compost, a living organism of sorts, comprised of beneficial bacteria, insect life and nutrients for plants, is on the other side of the plant food spectrum. Because it can be generated for little to no cost, compost is not only environmentally responsible but economical as well. A home landscape can provide a wealth of material to use in a compost heap or bin. Rather than putting fallen leaves or lawn clippings to the curb or in the trash, they

can be turned into beneficial material to help keep your garden self-sustained. To begin, you will first need to determine the composting method that will work for you. Compost can be generated from a pile of material placed in an out-of-theway corner of the yard or be created in a specially designed, expensive compost bin. Many homeowners fall in between these two methods with their compost systems. ~Wand e ar e a Most create their own bins from wood chicken wire or even use a trash container Bruns w ick ba s ed to contain the compost. company, BUT Once the container or pile location is established, it is time to start w theecompost do extend our recipe. In order to function optimally, coms er vic es to other post should have an abundance of aerobic bacteria, which will compost the surrounding waste quickly. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen and counti es! a certain amount of moisture to survive. Therefore, it is important to include materials in the compost that will achieve these conditions. Composters frequently refer to “greens� and “browns� in a compost mix.

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18 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homes & Gardens

FURNITURE SALE MARCH 29TH - APRIL 6TH BRUNSWICK WAREHOUSE OPEN APRIL 4-6 1412 Newcastle St. 912-264-4944 Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News



Dawn Hart, owner of Ace Garden Center on St. Simons Island, inspects blooming flowers.

Gardening can be easier By BRITTANY TATE The Brunswick News


LeAnn Duckworth

912-262-0366 Cell: 912-266-7675 912-262-0366 4635 New Jesup Hwy Brunswick, GA 31520

First-time gardeners may enjoy shopping around for some colorful, exotic flowers, picking out flowering pots and containers, and picking the perfect place in their yards to plant. But the added work of having to water, mulch, add fertilizer, and prune plants are sometimes too much of a chore to keep up. Choosing plants and shrubs that make for an easily maintainable garden is the best way to go. Dawn Hart, owner of Ace Garden Center on St. Simons Island, says one can look in surrounding gardens right now to see spring blooming shrubs and flowers that sustain themselves regardless of the effects of Mother Nature. This is a great way to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. “Popping out under the canopies of our beloved live oak trees are white dogwood trees, which are joined in early spring budding by Japanese magnolias and redbud trees,” Hart said. “Society garlic is beginning to bloom and it’s clumping habit makes it an excellent accent plant for shrub and rose beds. Creeping mazus and blue-eyed grass are two blooming groundcovers that surprise us with their blooms in early spring.” Hart says warmer weather in February has precipitated budding on some varieties of dwarf Japanese maples. Some reliable spring flowering shrubs include late season camellia, Hawthorne, red buckeye, viburnum in the Walters, Ms.Schillers and tinus varieties, glossy abelia and New Zealand

LeAnn Duckworth

tea. Vibrant yellow bush daisy proves to be reliable if it is pruned seasonally and the African Cape Daisy is versatile for container or bed planting in pink, purple, white, orange or yellow. Blanket flower boasts deer resistance, salt tolerance and accepts dry conditions. In edibles, strawberries and blueberries are blooming and beginning to produce fruit, which are excellent plants to entice the young gardener, Hart said. For residents who live on or near the beach, like Anne Aspinwall, president of Cassina Garden Club, choosing plants that can withstand heat and droughts will be much more sustainable. “Heat-tolerant plants, like lantana, and drought-tolerant plants like Black-eyed Susan, are pretty good,” Aspinwall said. Aspinwall suggests sedum, coleus, and Knock Out roses as great start-up plants for your garden. Sedum is drought-tolerant and requires very little care. It thrives in full sun with good drainage and does a good job of suppressing weeds. Coleus is an easy-to-grow sun-tolerant, hardy annual foliage plant that does best in moist soil, Aspinwall said. Knock Out roses are hardy, repeat blooming plants that are resistant to many pests and diseases and need little maintenance. “They are great as landscape plants, and are easy to care for,” she said. If you have a few minutes in your day you can dedicate to plants, azaleas are another great choice. They are suitable for both shade and sun.


The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 19

Homes & Gardens

How to prevent soil erosion Homeowners who spend time tending to their landscape are increasingly looking eco-friendly ways to maintain their lawns and gardens. Homeowners who once relied on potentially harmful pesticides to craft a lush lawn now prefer ways that don’t leave such a significant carbon footprint. Preventing soil erosion is one way to incorporate conservation into lawn and garden care. Conservation is one of many environmental practices aimed at preserving the planet’s natural resources, which include soil. Preventing soil erosion is easy and can be accomplished in a number of ways. Don’t overwater Some may assume that keeping soil as damp as possible keeps it healthy. However, overwatering the soil can cause runoff that washes the soil away. In addition, overwatering the soil can degrade it and contribute to erosion. Instead of overwatering, keep the soil moist but don’t overdo it. If you’re having trouble keeping soil moist, consider laying down some mulch, which helps retain moisture and deliver nutrients to the soil that keep it healthy. Plant trees and shrubs Trees and



shrubs are friends to soil, providing shelter while their roots keep the soil in place and prevent it from easily blowing away on a windy day. It also helps soil from washing away when warm weather arrives and the landscape must be watered on a daily basis. Create runoff barriers Runoff barriers are edges that can be made of brick, stone or other materials that help reduce runoff. Many homeowners install runoff barriers along sidewalks and driveways to ensure the soil does not spill out onto the pavement, but these also help the soil as much as they help to keep walkways and other areas free of soil and looking tidy. Consider leaving some grass around the garden Tillage is the process of preparing land to grow crops. While many homeowners don’t view their weekend gardening as growing crops, similar principles apply whether you’re growing crops on a farm or just a few vegetables in the backyard. One such principle is conservation tillage, which means leaving a portion of vegetation in the ground instead of stripping everything away before planting. For home gardeners, consider leaving a small amount of grass around the garden to keep

Installing runoff barriers made of brick, stone or other materials around plants and shrubs is one way to reduce soil erosion and runoff.

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20 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013



Homes & Gardens

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The benefits of pruning trees and shrubs Pruning trees and shrubs is necessary to ensure they maintain their health and vigor. Trees and shrubs should be inspected annually to determine if they need to be pruned. Mature trees typically do not need to be pruned as frequently as young trees, which need pruning to establish branch structure. Trees and shrubs that go years without pruning can become overgrown and weak. In addition to promoting tree and shrub health, pruning pays a host of other dividends.



Pruning removes dead or diseased branches Pruning helps a tree or shrub maintain its shape and vigor by removing broken, dead or diseased branches that can be unsightly and make it more difficult for the tree or shrub to stay healthy. When broken, dead or diseased branches are removed, trees or shrubs look healthier and add aesthetic appeal to a property. Pruning trees and shrubs promotes growth of other plants Trees and shrubs that go years without being pruned become overgrown, making it difficult for plants underneath or adjacent to them to grow in healthy. For example, grass beneath an overgrown tree might not get adequate sunlight, which it needs to establish strong roots so it can grow in lush and healthy. Pruning allows plants beneath the tree and shrub and even those next to

the tree and shrub to grow in nicely. Pruning can sometimes bring plants back to life Shrubs that have gone years without being pruned can sometimes still be salvaged. In some instances, pruning such shrubs can restore natural and healthy growth. Pruning reduces risk of accidents Overgrown trees can interfere with power lines, increasing the risk of accidents and power outages. In addition, overgrown trees tend to have larger, weaker limbs, which can prove hazardous and cause property damage during storms. Pruning overgrown trees reduces the risk of such accidents. * Pruning can save money. Over time, overgrown trees might require professional assistance in order to be removed or pruned from a property. Homeowners who prune their trees as needed can save themselves the cost of a potentially pricey tree service. Pruning adds curb appeal A property littered with overgrown trees and shrubs hurts a home’s curb appeal, giving prospective buyers the impression that homeowners might have been careless with regard to maintaining the whole house and not just the lawn. But trees and shrubs that are pruned and well-maintained can add to a home’s curb appeal, something that goes a long way toward impressing prospective buyers.

The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 21

Homes & Gardens

Go extra mile to deer-proof garden Creating a beautiful and bountiful garden is a popular pastime for people all across the country. It is important to keep in mind that aesthetically appealing plants may be appetizing to area wildlife, including deer. Those who do not want their gardens to turn into all-you-can-eat buffets for deer, rabbits and other wild animals can take a more proactive approach to gardening. Deer are opportunists who will no doubt see your garden as a salad bar ripe with all of their favorite foods. As housing developments continue to encroach on the natural habitats of deer and other animals, these animals are becoming more visible. Deer may not be able to forage for food effectively in their smaller, natural surroundings, or they may become accustomed to the “easy pickings” they find in neighborhood yards. Either way, you may encounter a deer in or around your area. Keeping deer at bay involves some work and maintenance on the part of a homeowner. There are safe and humane methods to repelling deer, or at least blocking access to the plants worth protecting. Here are the main ways to deer-proof a garden. Fence It Fences are one way to deter deer from entering a yard and dining on your garden. Keep in mind that deer can jump fences that are quite tall, but they have to be especially motivated to jump an eight-foottall fence. Still, they tend to be weary about

encloses the area to be protected. If you do not want the fence to be solid, consider putting stakes or thorny plants within the garden so that the deer will hesitate to jump into the garden. Scare Them Deer are naturally skittish around people, but over time they can become quite complacent around human beings. Once a deer decides that something will not present a threat, the deer can adapt to its presence. Motion-activated devices may not work, nor the presence of pets. Predator urine is typically an effective way at keeping deer at bay. Bottled coyote urine can be quite effective, although human urine may work as well. Reapplying the product weekly around the plants is a good idea.

scaling a fence when they cannot see what is on the other side. Therefore, if you are fencing out deer, choose a fence that camouflages the garden well and completely

Repel the Deer There are many organic or chemicallybased products on the market that deer may find offensive to the taste or smell. Hot pepper, sulfur and eggs or even the use of soapy water have been successful in certain instances. The use of blood meal or even human hair around the garden may repel the deer and keep them on a different foraging path. However, remember that any deer that is very hungry may ignore unpleasant tastes or smells for a quick bite. Change Plants If other food sources are available, there

Managing difficult yard situations Many homeowners aim for a picture perfect lawn complete with rolling acres of soft, green grass. But Mother Nature may have other things in mind, providing homeowners with less-than-stellar growing conditions for their lawns, plants and other foliage. Frustration can mount when a yard is muddy, is especially shady or has soil that doesn’t seem to grow a thing. In such instances, homeowners may have to go the extra mile to get the yard they desire.

Irrigation issues Improper drainage or low-lying areas in a yard may contribute to a muddy mess. Soil that is inhospitable for grass also may end up causing muddy patches because the grass simply does not grow. In some cases, remedying a muddy yard is easy and inexpensive. Some homeowners find that tilling the soil and amending it with a fiber mulch helps to absorb extra water and make the conditions better for lawn seeds to sprout. This also helps to aerate compacted soil

that can hinder grass growth. Adding soil fill also may help to level low-lying areas that can be puddling. Some homeowners find that they need to do a little more work and spend some more money to fix irrigation issues. Installing a draining system or having the property sloped to draw water away can sometimes be done by a homeowner but is often best left to a professional. You may need to dig trenches, and the property may need to be regraded to make a difference.

Sandy soil Grass and other plants may not grow well with sandy or clay soil. Again, amending the soil is one way to remedy the problem. Although it will take some work at the outset, amending the soil can improve conditions and reduce how much maintenance the lawn needs. Digging down several inches and adding nutrient-rich filler soil will help create conditions that are better for growing. Those who are interested in

are some species of plants and trees that deer will avoid. Filling your garden with these plants can help you maintain a beautiful, albeit untasty, environment for deer. When planting annuals, select among: • Alyssum • Begonias • Calendula • Celosia • Dianthus • Foxglove • Geraniums • Parsley • Poppy In terms of perennials, plant these items once, and deer could stay away: • Ageratum • Anemone • Astibe • Bearded iris • Catmint • Honeysuckle • Lantana • Monkshood • Rock rose • Rosemary • Soapwort • Wisteria Plant these herbs alongside flowers for even more protection: • Chives • Eucalyptus • Garlic • Mint • Thyme

planting vegetables could opt for raised garden beds above the challenging soil.

Shade Sometimes a yard is problematic because of the amount of sunshine it receives. Too much sunshine can scald certain grasses, while inadequate sunshine may result in bare patches where grass won’t grow. If cost is no object, removing or planting trees to establish better growing conditions could be an option. However, today there are many grass blends that are tailored toward specific sunlight scenarios. Homeowners may find that low-light blends will grow better in shady areas. For those who are finding no luck with grass blends, it may just be necessary to think creatively. Plant shade-loving plants, such as ferns or ground cover, where the grass won’t take. Design the landscape so it looks intentional. Flagstone and slate placed in certain areas also may mask temperamental growing areas.

There are different options for managing various situations in the yard that can make growing lawn or other plants challenging. If projects are difficult, it could be smart to call in a professional.

22 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homes & Gardens

Keys to battling ants around the house With more than 12,000 ant species around the world, chances are most homeowners or renters will experience an ant problem at one point or another. Understanding the habits of ants can make alleviating an infestation that much easier. Understanding Ants Ants may cause stress or prove troublesome when they enter a home, but ants play an important role in nature. Ants live mostly in colonies and may create intricate tunnels throughout the soil. These can help air reach the soil and plant roots. Ants also consume and recycle dead or decaying plants. Some ants are carnivorous and feed on other insects. Ants can also recycle composting materials, helping to enrich the dirt. According to Pest World For Kids, the queen is the centerpiece of the ant colony. Without the queen, the rest of the colony can only survive a few months before they perish. That’s because the queen lays the eggs which males will fertilize. There are some female workers that are unable to reproduce. Soldier ants are also unable to reproduce and simply protect the queen and help gather or kill food. Eradicating ants is impossible. A person is only able to keep populations in check in and around the home. Ants have large brains in proportion to their size. They are known to be the smartest species of insects with around 250,000 brain cells. Therefore, outsmarting them requires appealing to their habits. Ants are also smart enough to cultivate their own food sources. Some raise aphids to produce sweet secretions that the ants

feed on. Ants also do many other interesting things. Many ant species steal pupae from other ant colonies and make the hatched ants work as slaves. Ants in the Home Ants enter a home when they are attracted to a food or water source. No home is impervious to ants, and even city-dwellers surrounded by pavement have experienced ants indoors. Ants also may be attracted to comfortable nest sites or conditions. Carpenter ants, for example, like moist areas and make their homes in wood. There are a few different tactics to keeping ants out of the home. These include: Creating a barrier around the perimeter of the home. Using a natural or chemical pesticide may keep ants away from the home. Reducing favorable conditions outdoors. Make sure there aren’t any cracks or crevices around the home where ants can enter. Keep shrubbery and dense foliage away from the home’s foundation. Cut back overhanging tree branches and remove any excess soil that’s up against the house. Protecting against food sources indoors. Ants need water and food to survive. Workers will forage for food. If an easy source is inside the home, they will go there. Keep sweet foods sealed in plastic bags. Wipe down counters frequently and sweep up crumbs from the floor. Pick up pet water and food bowls when not in use. Vacuum out crumbs from a high chair or baby seat regularly. There is some evidence that ants do not like the aroma or taste of vinegar, so use a vinegar-and-water solution to clean around the house.

Relying on bait stations. If the aforementioned methods have not reduced ant populations, purchase bait stations. These are readily available at hardware or home centers and work by luring the ants to a sweet solution that contains a poison. Place them in a location where ants have previously been seen. The poison is typically borax, an item that is toxic to ants and other bugs but relatively harmless to humans. Ants feed on the solution and bring back some of the poison to the colony. Individuals should let the ants visit the bait station and not interfere with the transfer of the poison by letting the ants be. There may be quite a steady row of ants, which will slowly dissipate over a few days when the poison takes effect. After some time there should be no or just a few ants left. There are also similar bait stations that can be used outdoors. Replace the stations once every few months to keep ant numbers in check. Letting spiders live. Spiders and other insects feed on ants. Resist killing spiders around the house, especially outdoors.

They’re natural pesticides. Ants are resilient and can be a worthy opponent when they get inside a home. The average worker lives anywhere from 45 to 60 days, while a queen can live up to 20 years. Getting rid of one colony might just invite another one in, so expect ants to pose an ongoing problem. Maintaining an antfree home requires due diligence.

has escalated. Because they remain hidden most of the time, termites can be difficult to detect. Incidences of soft wood or visual recognition of swarming termites that occur in the spring can indicate that termites could be residing in a structure or nearby. There are different types of termites, and proper identification is necessary to find the correct treatment option. Unlike other pests, termites are pests whose detection and removal is best left to a professional who can recognize the subtle signs. He or she will identify certain signs of an infestation, such as mud-looking material on wooden surfaces, discarded wings from a swarm, piles of sawdust, termite tubes running outdoors from the soil to a home, buckling paint, and other indications. There are different ways to prevent or treat

a termite infestation. To prevent termites, there are applications of termiticides that are put into the soil surrounding a home or structure. Also, removal of moisture in and around the house is key because termites need moist conditions for survival. Poisoning of nests is also a treatment option. If termites already have infiltrated a home, fumigation may be necessary to remedy that problem. However, fumigation is not always effective at killing eggs and all of the termites. Most exterminators will use a combination of treatments to rid a home of termites. If extreme wood damage has occurred, portions of the structure may have to be removed and rebuilt. This also may help alleviate some of the scent trails termites use to travel to and from nests and food sources.

How to treat a termite problem in home Termites are houseguests few homeowners want to experience. With their reputation for voracity and the damage they can inflict on a home, termites are something most people want to avoid at all costs. If termites are already a problem or something homeowners simply want to prevent, there are effective ways to banish these unwelcome guests or keep them from ever entering a home.

What is a termite? Termites are small social insects that have the capability to destroy wood. Sometimes they are mistaken for ants, but the two insects are quite different. Termites are actually close relatives to the cockroach. Many termites appear as white or light-colored and may seem translucent. Winged termites

are darker in color. Termites have a grubshaped body but, unlike ants, no discernable hourglass-shaped waist. Also, their antennae are straight and look beaded, like a string of pearls, while ants have elbowed antennae. Another way to differentiate ants from termites is that termite eyes are very small or nonexistent, while ants’ eyes are clearly visible. Termites live in a nest or colony in large numbers. Their primary food source is plant fiber, known as cellulose. Most termites are rarely seen unless they are swarming or if their nest or a portion of wood has been opened revealing the insects inside. Treating termites Many people do not even know they have a termite problem until that problem


The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013 23

Homes & Gardens

Cost-effective fencing options Fencing serves many purposes. Some homeowners erect a fence for privacy, while others do so to contain pets and children. Because fencing can be expensive, some homeowners look for ways to cut costs, which can be relatively easy, especially for those homeowners willing to consider various materials when erecting their fence. Traditional fences are available in materials ranging from wood to vinyl to metal. Homeowners have other options at their disposal if they prefer a more natural fence. Different shrubs, trees or grasses can be planted to create a barrier between properties or within the property. When choosing a fencing material, consider that even a less expensive material may prove more expensive in the long run if it needs significant maintenance or has to be replaced in just a few years. Therefore, the most cost-effective fencing material may not necessarily be the least expensive one at the store. Here are some materials homeowners can consider.

Found material Repurposed wood or metal can be crafted into a rustic, one-of-akind fence. Materials can be found that are no cost, requiring only the cost of labor. Should you build it yourself, this can be next to nothing. Sometimes existing fences on another property can be disassembled and re-built on your own property for little to no cost as well. Chainlink/chainwire Chainlink fencing is one of the most economical types of boundary fencing. The fencing comes in a variety of diamond sizes and is fixed to galvanized pipes spaced across the perimeter of the property. Although it is some of the least expensive fencing, it does not offer much privacy on its own. But if you are looking at fencing simply as a barrier, chainlink could be the way to go. Picket fencing A wooden picket fence is another inexpensive fencing material. The pickets can be purchased in various heights, and this fence may be used as garden border fencing or to mark a property

line between homes. Spacing the pickets widely apart may cut down on the number that need to be purchased, further keeping the cost down. Bamboo Bamboo is a rapidly growing grass that produces a hard wood-like material that is used in many building applications. Bamboo wood can be used to build a fence, but the natural plant also can be planted to form a living fence for privacy. Stockade fencing A stockade fence is one of the more basic wood fencing options. Wooden slats are placed alongside one another to form an effective and affordable privacy fence. Stockade fencing can be stained or painted to preserve it. Many home improvement retailers sell panels of stockade fencing so that you can make fence installation a do-it-yourself project. Vinyl fencing Although vinyl fencing is one of the more expensive fencing materials at the outset (it costs about twice the price of a wood fence), it does pay for itself

rather quickly thanks to minimal maintenance. Unlike some other materials, vinyl will not rot or discolor. You also won’t have to purchase stain, paint and expensive cleaners for a vinyl fence. That means once you make the investment, you will have years upon years of maintenance-free enjoyment. There are many different fencing materials that can coordinate with a variety of budgets.

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24 The Brunswick News / Thursday, March 14, 2013

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