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Living on the Edge of the Wild

When Mother Nature is your neighbor, the possibilities — and responsibilities — can be that much greater Full Story
     Comment   August 14, 2014
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No envy here. I have more than the vast majority of people, including over an acre, for which I feel a huge responsibility to protect. I just know the value of disappearing nature, unlike so many people. We simply cannot continue on our merry selfish American way and expect no consequences. The inevitable end of a continued worship of private property rights is nothing left but fiefdoms. Is this really the world you want to leave for future generations, noor? Someone has to care more about the greater good than about grasping for a bigger piece of the pie. I choose to do so.
August 14, 2014 at 7:43AM     
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Invasive plants are a great trial. As is keeping the water ways free of non native fish species. We struggle with people who try to poach or not abide by the fishing regulations in place. This fall work will start on rebuilding stream bed and water line. Luckily no damage from cattle. We saw a lot of that in the Rockies, although, I believe progress is being made. Akryba your area sounds wonderful. Much of the land around us has been given to the Nature Concervancy. The rest is surrounded by NC State Forest. Can't wait for the fall color.
August 14, 2014 at 1:28PM     
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We have 6 wooded acres in North Texas. It is overgrown with cedar trees and not good for much, including wildlife, as the cedars strip the soil of nutrients. The previous owner left all sorts of trash in all the ravines and under trees. We have the occasional skunk or possum, and lots of birds, which I love, but that's it. I believe in stewardship. We plan to build a modest home, about 1600 sf. We have been cleaning up trash, removing dead oaks and overcrowded cedars. I planted a mini-orchard and a garden. I am looking into enlarging a small pasture slightly and raising some animals for food. Other than that, I would like to leave most of it alone. We already keep chickens in an old tool shed, which was filled with trash. I would like to keep bees, but my husband is allergic, so that fight is still on. I try to stick with natives for landscaping, and I have rain barrels for my ornamentals around the house. Other than clearing some terribly invasive trees and vines for the house, I think us being here has been an improvement for the ecosystem. I understand what others are saying, and many of their concerns are legitimate, but I do believe there is room for people in the country, if we are sensitive to our surroundings and responsible with our building methods. Also, fellow country dwellers, don't forget that we are moving into the animal's territory, so we need to respect that. I love it out here, and, I'm sorry, but I don't think I can be persuaded to move into some overcrowded urban environment again!
August 17, 2014 at 10:03AM     
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How to Keep Your White Spaces Looking Great

Don’t let dinginess darken your door — or your walls, furniture, floors ... see the light with these cleaning and maintenance tips Full Story
     Comment   August 10, 2014
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
Here is an interesting article about the Dangers of Bleach
August 9, 2014 at 8:08AM     
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janet4784 likes 4 comments on an ideabook

How to Find the Right Native Plants for Your Yard

Find plant maps, sale sites and guides that make going native in the garden easier than ever Full Story
     Comment   August 7, 2014
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For Massachusetts and New England residents, check out the New England Wildflower Society - native plant nursery, native plant gardens, seed collection and many other resources. http://www.newenglandwild.org/. The Connecticut Botanical Society website also has great info about northeast native gardening at http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/
August 3, 2014 at 9:28AM     
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Barbara Brandt
I made a fantastic discovery near my home in Central NJ. We have many acres of farmland that are protected from developers and are left to the State for protection. This year hundreds of acres in my county were planted with Black Eyed Susans, many wild flowers and milk weed. Public trails are running in and out of these areas. This is Mercer County. I don;t know what other parts of this state have done this but I now have packages of seeds which I carefully took (not the plants and only a few in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of flowers that were planted) to put out in late August. I am moving other plants that currently are part of the area I have picked for wild flowers. Some will stay but I want to create a mixture of flowering plants. I would do this to my entire property but I have shade trees. Sunny areas are in the front and so all of my elegant roses are about to get new partners. As to the shady areas, moss is a priority but the leaves continue to be the enemy of moss. I know nothing worth doing is easy to I suppose this will be a new trial and error situation. Meanwhile, I continue to read all the resources I can find. The bamboo still is popping up but it is less annoying when the invasive Queen Anne Lace dominates.
August 4, 2014 at 5:54PM     
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Check with wildones.org (native plants, native landscapes) for resources in your area. It's an excellent organization with over 50 chapters across the United States.
August 4, 2014 at 6:27PM     
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
August 4, 2014 at 6:50PM     
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Great Design Plant: Butterfly Milkweed, a Beacon in the Prairie

Vivacious orange flowers for you, nectar for the butterflies and bees. Asclepias tuberosa is worth planting for more reasons than one Full Story
     Comment   August 7, 2014
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I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned that the caterpillars will eat the leaves on your milkweed and they will look terrible for a while and you will think they have died or infected. They aren't. After the caterpillars have had their fill, you can just cut them back and they will regrow again. It's the food, and will provide you with lots of pretty butterflies and cocoons.
August 6, 2014 at 7:59AM     
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I planted a milkweed in my Houston garden years ago. The seeds blew and new plants sprouted all over the backyard in the lawn. I simple pulled them out gently, poked a hole in various garden areas and plopped the plant in. They love it here. They don't need great drainage (just don't over water but if you do they don't die, they just drop yellowed leaves), they grow just fine in clay soil and the aphids are horrendous on them especially right now. The result of the aphids is a sticky totally ugly plant with brown dying leaves. It is either spray with poison or cut the plant nearly to the ground discarding the affected parts and hope it grows back healthy (I do the latter). I had over 100 milkweed plants last summer, many taller than I am (5'4"), all from the one original plant! Wasps steal most of the monarch butterfly larva in the summer unfortunately. The monarch butterfly larva does the best in the winter i this area, just before we get freezes yet after the wasps go away for the season. I have planted both the yellow and the orange. The orange appears to be much hardier and is what i have left, all the yellow ones are gone.
August 6, 2014 at 1:27PM     
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Pat Bernard Design, Inc.
The asclepia tuberosa in my garden is mostly self sown. The asclepia incarnate and liatris are also self sowers in my garden. All this in heavy clay. But the front yard buzzes with activity from dawn to dusk - and it's fun watching the monarchs dip and flow by.
August 7, 2014 at 12:34PM     
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10 Top California Native Plants, Trees and Grasses

Enjoy a fuss-free, water-wise garden in the Golden State by growing plants naturally in tune with the climate and wildlife Full Story
     Comment   August 7, 2014
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I ripped out the grass in 2011 and now I love the sight, sounds, and scents of my mostly Cali Native yard. First photo 2011 second photo summer 2013.
August 7, 2014 at 12:15AM     
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August 21, 2014 at 8:43PM   
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The Future of Smart Design: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

See why reducing waste in a home construction project should appeal to every architect, designer and client Full Story
     Comment   July 31, 2014
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The Timeless Material Company
The Timeless Material Company has been supporting this message for decades and we hope this is heard by industry professionals and individuals alike.

We are southwestern Ontario's premier reclaimed material and component supplier. The Timeless Material Co. provides mill shops, architects, builders and retail consumers alike the finest local reclaimed wood and building components. Kieswetter Demolition carefully salvages the material and The Timeless Material Co. gives it new purpose. Extensive stock and our talented team allow us to accommodate orders of any size or vision.

Contact us or visit our Showroom and do your part today!
305 Northfield Dr. E. Waterloo, Ontario N2V 2N4
519.883.8683 or 1.800.609.9633
Open M-F 9-6, Sat. 9-5 and Sun. 11-4
July 30, 2014 at 10:01AM     
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Thistle Beauregarde LLC
I just converted a kit barn studio into an inn. We had minimal construction waste! We're allowed to burn in my county, so I'm going to burn all the little scrap wood pieces. I recycled the cardboard boxes that everything came in, as well as the plastic bags and all the metal pieces. (It took a really long time to sort, but it's better than paying for a dumpster when I can recycle them for free). I've sorted and stacked all the materials we didn't use or took out of the old building and I'm about to give it all away on craigslist. Really, the most amount of landfill waste was the styrofoam packing that the tiles and furniture came packaged in. That stuff should be illegal. You would be surprised how many people are willing to take away your construction cast offs and reuse them.
July 30, 2014 at 1:13PM     
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I have to agree that mindset drives how both the owner, renovator and contractor do things, as well as the architect.
If we demand greater quality and also focus on reuse instead of wasting what is available, it should really cost less (when factoring in waste of the new materials, landfill, et al.).
Here's to hope!

To the person who commented that the DIY home Reno shows made you sick with the general smash and throw away attitude, I wholly agree with you and would love to see shows focus on re-use, recycle and reduce (waste and use of unnecessary (where appropriate) new materials); that would take (I argue) greater thought, creativity and flair for thinking outside the box than always using new. I am not trying to at the same time, disparage contractors, trades people, architects and also home owners, who do think honestly of using recycled materials first and are (for one reason or other) talked out of it; just keep trying. :-)
July 30, 2014 at 1:24PM     
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@Peggy Tupper (and anyone else having trouble giving away or donating usable items) - it it's in your community, I suggest giving Freecycle (www.freecycle.net or www.freecycle.org) a try. I've had great success with the latter in my small town!
July 30, 2014 at 1:46PM     
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Luckily, some people are motivated by doing the right thing, regardless of whether it is the cheapest thing. I know it is a privilege to be able to choose in this way, and not everyone has the choice. But we will all be forced into it sooner or later.

Another option when choosing materials that I don't think was included here, is buying local - or as local as possible. Do you really need to import marble, granite, tiles etc from the other side of the world? Is there a source closer to home? Or an alternative?
July 30, 2014 at 10:29PM     
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Reviews by janet4784 (2)

Review for CertaPro Painters - Sacramento:

Garrett Rogers was wonderful to work with. They did a thorough estimate, and completed the work when specified. He helped pick an outdoor trim color that turn...
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Review for Perryman Painting Inc:

I was very impressed with the service and professionalism. There were no cut corners, and I will hire them again.
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